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Hiroshima for Global Peace

Hiroshima Report 2018Chapter 1. Nuclear Disarmament1


As of December 2017, eight countries have declared that they have nuclear weapons. According to Article IV-3 of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), “a nuclear-weapon State is one which has manufactured and exploded a nuclear weapon or other nuclear explosive device prior to 1 January 1967.” China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States meet this requirement, and have acceded to the NPT as nuclear-weapon states (NWS) as defined by the treaty. The three other countries that have tested nuclear weapons and declared having nuclear weapons are India, Pakistan and North Korea. India and Pakistan have never been parties to the NPT. Israel, a non-NPT state, has maintained a policy of “nuclear ambiguity” by neither confirming nor denying having nuclear weapons, although it is widely considered that it has them (no evidence has yet been found that Israel has conducted a nuclear test). In this report, these three additional states that have publicly declared or are believed to possess nuclear weapons are referred to as “other nuclear-armed states.” In 2003 North Korea declared withdrawal from the NPT, and acquisition of nuclear weapons.

The number of nuclear weapons, which grew to approximately 70,000 at the peak of the Cold War era, has been reduced steadily since the late 1980s. According to the estimates produced by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), however, an estimated 14,935 nuclear weapons still exist on the earth, 4,150 nuclear warheads among them are deployed, and the U.S. and Russian nuclear stockpiles together constitute more than 90 percent of the total.2 Compared to the approximately 7,600 nuclear weapons that were eliminated between 2010 and 2017, the 460 nuclear weapons eliminated between 2016 and 2017 indicates that the pace of reduction has been slowing. It is widely estimated that China, India and Pakistan have each added about 10 warheads annually for the past several years (see Tables 1-1 and 1-2).

Among nuclear-armed states, France declared it possesses 300 nuclear weapons,3 and the United Kingdom announced plans to reduce its total nuclear stockpiles to not more than 180 by the mid-2020s. Other countries have not declassified the exact number of nuclear weapons in their arsenal.4  Meanwhile, the United States has declassified information more actively. For example, right before the end of the Obama administration in January 2017, Vice President Joseph R. Biden announced that the United States dismantled approximately 500 nuclear warheads in 2016, and totally 2,226 warheads since 2009. He also stated that the number of the U.S. nuclear warheads in service is 4.018,5 which means that the United States eliminated 1,255 warheads during the Obama administration.


A) Approaches toward a world without nuclear weapons

According to the preamble of the NPT, states parties “[declare] their intention to achieve at the earliest possible date the cessation of the nuclear arms race and to undertake effective measures in the direction of nuclear disarmament, [and urge] the co-operation of all States in the attainment of this objective.” Article VI of the Treaty stipulates that “[e]ach of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.”

As mentioned in the previous Hiroshima Reports, no country, including the nuclear-armed states, openly opposes the goal of the total elimination of nuclear weapons or the vision of a world without nuclear weapons. The commitment to nuclear disarmament has been reiterated in various fora, including the NPT review process and the UN General Assembly (UNGA). At the World Economic Forum in Davos in January 2017, Chinese President Xi Jinping stated: “Nuclear weapons should be completely prohibited and destroyed over time to make the world free of nuclear weapons.”6 However, such statements do not necessarily mean the nuclear-armed states actively pursue realization of a world without nuclear weapons. The stalemate in nuclear disarmament continued again in 2017. Furthermore, Christopher Ford, Senior Director for Weapons of Mass Destruction and Counterproliferation on the U.S. National Security Council (then), stated in March that review of U.S. policies by the new administration would include “whether the goal of a world without nuclear weapons is in fact a realistic objective in the near-to-medium term in light of current trends in the international security environment.”7

As for approaches to nuclear disarmament, the five NWS and India have argued for a step-by-step approach; non-nuclear-weapon states (NNWS) allied with the United States (nuclear umbrella states) have proposed a progressive approach based on building-block principles; and the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) countries have called for launching negotiations on a phased program for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons within a specified time frame.8 At the 2017 NPT PrepCom, Japan stated that it would “continue to strive so that countries holding different approached [would] engage in discussions on practical nuclear disarmament measures in a constructive manner,” and introduced the following three actions which Japan would take as a first step: establishing an eminent persons group on nuclear disarmemnt;9 hosting the Regional Conference for States in South East Asia, the Pacific and the Far East Region (SEAPFE), with a view to contributing to the entry into force of the CTBT; and building an international network between Youth Communicators and the CTBTO Youth Group, in order to spread awareness of the humanitarian consequences of atomic bombings across national borders and generations.10

B) Voting behavior on UNGA resolutions on nuclear disarmament proposals by Japan, NAC and NAM

In 2017, the UNGA again adopted a resolutions titled “United action with renewed determination towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons”11 proposed by Japan and others; “Towards a nuclear-weapon-free world: accelerating the implementation of nuclear disarmament commitments”12 proposed by the New Agenda Coalition (NAC); and “Nuclear disarmament commitments”12 proposed by the New Agenda Coalition (NAC); and “Nuclear disarmament”13 by NAM members. The voting behavior of the countries surveyed in this project on the three resolutions at the UNGA in 2017 is presented below.

  • “United action with renewed determination towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons”
    • Proposing: Australia, Germany, Japan, Poland, Turkey, UAE, the U.K., the U.S. and others
    • 156 in favor, 4 Against (China, Russia, North Korea and Syria), 24 Abstentions (Austria, Brazil, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, South Korea, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, South Africa and others)
  • “Towards a nuclear-weapon-free world: accelerating the implementation of nuclear disarmament commitments”
    • Proposing: Brazil, Egypt, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa and others
    • 137 in favor, 31 Against (Belgium, China, France, Germany, India, Israel, North Korea, Poland, Russia, Turkey, the U.K. and the U.S.), 16 Abstentions (Australia, Canada, Japan, South Korea, the Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan and others)
  • “Nuclear Disarmament”
    • Proposing: Indonesia, the Philippines and others
    • 119 in favor, 41 Against (Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Israel, South Korea, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Switzerland, Turkey, the U.K., the U.S. and others), 20 Abstentions (Austria, India, Japan, North Korea, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sweden and others)

Regarding the resolution titled “United action towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons,” among nuclear-armed states, France and the United Kingdom changed their positions from the previous year when they abstained, and voted in favor in 2017. On the other hand, some of the co-sponsors of the resolution in 2016 (including Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Nigeria, Norway the Philippine, Sweden and Switzerland) did not do so in 2017. The number of countries voting in favor of the 2017 resolution also slightly decreased from the previous one. Japan argued that “[t]his resolution provides a common denominator on a wide-range of issues related to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.”14 However, proponents of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), including the NGO and Hibakusha, criticized that the resolution did not mention the treaty and that the following points, among others, were an unacceptable step backward from the 2016 resolution15 (emphasis added):

  • Changing from “[r]eaffirms…the unequivocal undertaking of the nuclear-weapon States to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenal, leading to nuclear disarmament” to “[r]eaffirms…the unequivocal undertaking of the nuclear-weapon States to fully implement the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, towards a safer world for all and a peaceful and secure world free of nuclear weapons”; and
  • Deleting the word “any” in the 2017 resolution phrasing which read: “[e]xpressing deep concern at the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons”.

C) Humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons

Since the 2015 NPT Review Conference, the Humanitarian Group, which focuses on the humanitarian dimensions of nuclear weapons, has emphasized the significance of starting negotiations of a legally binding instrument on prohibiting nuclear weapons. The result was the adoption of the TPNW in 2017.

At the 2017 UNGA, Austria and other co-sponsors, as in the previous year, proposed a resolution titled “Humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons.”16 The voting behavior of countries surveyed in this project on this resolution is presented below.

  • Proposing: Austria, Brazil, Chili, Egypt, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Mexico, New Zealand, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland and other
  • 141 in favor, 15 Against (France, Israel, South Korea, Poland, Russia, Turkey, the U.K., the U.S. and others), 27 Abstentions (Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Germany, North Korea, the Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan and others)

Furthermore, the voting behavior of the resolution titled “Ethical imperatives for a nuclear-weapon-free world”17 led by South Africa was:

  • Proposing: Austria, Brazil, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Nigeria, South Africa and others
  • 130 in favor, 37 Against (Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Israel, South Korea, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Turkey, the U.K., the U.S. and others), 15 Abstentions (China, India, Japan, North Korea, Pakistan, Sweden, Switzerland and others)


In accordance with the resolution, titled “Taking forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations,”18 adopted at the UN General Assembly in 2016, the United Nations Conference to Negotiate a Legally Binding Instrument to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons, Leading towards Their Elimination (hereinafter Negotiation Conference), was convened in March and June-July 2017 in New York. On the first day of the Negotiation Conference, Austria, one of the countries which have taken initiative for its convening, stated: “I am proud and humbled to see such a large number of States assembled in this hall this morning. It shows the broad, the global support for a prohibition of [nuclear weapons].”19

Nearly all the countries and NGOs that participated in the Negotiation Conference were proponents of establishing a treaty banning nuclear weapons. There existed different opinions among the participants regarding concrete obligations and measures which they considered should be stipulated in a treaty, such as: whether the threat to use nuclear weapons, in addition to any actual use, should explicitly be prohibited; whether a “nuclear test explosion”, which is banned by the CTBT, or a “nuclear test” which can be interpreted to include other than explosive tests, should be prohibited in a negotiated treaty; and whether a ban on transit of nuclear weapons should be included in the treaty. Nevertheless, such differences did not erode their belief that legislating norm in the form of a treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons, in light of their humanitarian consequences is an essential step toward total elimination of nuclear weapons. Nor did the above differences diminish enthusiasm for concluding a treaty during the Negotiation Conference. Under the strong leadership of the chairperson of the negotiation conference, Costa Rican ambassador Elayne Whyte Gómez, the TPNW was adopted on July 7, the last day of the Negotiation Conference, with 122 in favor, one against (the Netherlands) and one abstention (Singapore).20

The TPNW consists of a preamble and 20 articles. Its preamble states, inter alia, that states parties are: “deeply concerned about the catastrophic humanitarian consequences that would result from any use of nuclear weapons, and recognizing the consequent need to completely eliminate such weapons, which remains the only way to guarantee that nuclear weapons are never used again under any circumstances”; “considering that any use of nuclear weapons would be contrary to the rules of international law applicable in armed conflict, in particular the principles and rules of international humanitarian law”; “mindful of the unacceptable suffering of and harm caused to the victims of the use of nuclear weapons (hibakusha), as well as of those affected by the testing of nuclear weapons”; and “recognizing that a legally binding prohibition of nuclear weapons constitutes an important contribution towards the achievement and maintenance of a world free of nuclear weapons, including the irreversible, verifiable and transparent elimination of nuclear weapons, and determined to act towards that end.”

Article 1 of the treaty stipulates that each state party undertakes never under any circumstances to: (a) develop, test, produce, manufacture, acquire, possess or stockpile nuclear weapons and other nuclear explosive devices (hereinafter nuclear weapons); (b) transfer them; (c) receive them; (d) use or threaten to use them ; (e) assist, encourage or induce anyone to engage in any of the activities prohibited to a state party under the treaty, (f) seek or receive any assistance from anyone to engage in any such activity; and (g) allow any stationing, installation or deployment of any nuclear weapons in its territory or at any place under its jurisdiction or control. The TPNW also stipulates the following obligations and measures:

  • Declarations (Article 2): Each state party shall submit to the UN Secretary-General a declaration on: (a) whether it owned, possessed or controlled nuclear weapons and eliminated its nuclear-weapon program; (b) whether it owns, possesses or controls any nuclear weapons; (c) whether there are any nuclear weapons in its territory or in any place under its jurisdiction or control that are owned, possessed or controlled by another state;
  • Safeguards (Article 3): Each state party shall, at a minimum, maintain its IAEA safeguards obligations; and each state party which has not yet done so shall conclude and bring into force an IAEA Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement;
  • Procedure to establish verification measures for eliminating nuclear weapons program (Article 4);
  • National implementation (Article 5);
  • Victim assistance and environmental remediation (Article 6), and international cooperation and assistance (Article 7);
  • Meetings of states parties and review conferences (Article 8);
  • Costs (Article 9), amendments (Article 10), and settlement of disputes (Article 11);
  • Universality: encouraging a state to accede to the treaty (Article 12);
  • Opening for signature at the UN Headquarters on September 20, 2017 (Article 13), and entering into force 90 days after the 50th instrument of ratification has been deposited (Article 15); and
  • Reservations (Article 16), duration and withdrawal (Article 17), relationship with other agreements (Article 18), depositary (Article 19), and authentic texts (Article 20).

On September 20, 51 countries signed the TPNW. By the end of 2017, 56 countries (including Austria, Brazil, Chile, Indonesia, Mexico, New Zealand, Nigeria, the Philippines and South Africa) have signed, and three countries among them have ratified. Austria, one of the countries which led the establishment of the TPNW, stated at the UN General Assembly that “the overwhelming majority of States have come to the conclusion that their security is better served without nuclear weapons, than with them,” and “based on the knowledge of the grave humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapon explosions, more and more States have come to the conclusion that the continued existence of nuclear weapons would not be advantageous or desirable in any way, but poses a threat to national as well as collective security, even human survival, and should end.”21

Nuclear-armed/umbrella states, which were against or abstained from UN General Assembly Resolution 71/258 in 2016, did not participate in the Negotiation Conference of the TPNW, except the Netherlands.22 Outside of the conference room on the initial day of the Negotiation Conference in March 2017, the U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, together with, inter alia, the French, the U.K. and South Korean ambassadors, expressed opposition to the negotiation of a treaty, stating that “There is nothing I want more for my family than a world with no nuclear weapons. But we have to be realistic. Is there anyone that believes that North Korea would agree to a ban on nuclear weapons?”23 China stated that it “consistently upholds and actively advocates a final comprehensive ban on and total destruction of nuclear weapons, which is fundamentally in line with the purposes of negotiations on the nuclear weapon ban treaty,” but “also believes that realizing disarmament, which cannot be achieved overnight, must be pressed ahead in a gradual and incremental way following the principle of safeguarding global strategic stability and compromising the security of no country.” Then, China argued that its decision not to participate in the Negotiation Conference was “made to maintain the current international arms control and disarmament regime and move ahead nuclear disarmament in a gradual and incremental way. It demonstrates China’s responsible attitude towards maintaining global strategic balance and stability. Therefore, whether we show up at the negotiating table or not, there is no change to China’s position on supporting a final comprehensive ban on and total destruction of nuclear weapons.”24

NWS also criticiazed the negotiation of a nuclear weapons ban treaty at the 2017 NPT Preparatory Committee (PrepCom). Russia, for instance, stated: “Many NPT Parties are tempted to reach complete nuclear disarmament overnight. While understanding the motivation that pushed them to start negotiating the prohibition of nuclear weapons, we believe they took the wrong path that endangers the viability of the NPT regime. We know that the sponsors of the negotiation process have different opinion and expect that a nuclear weapons ban treaty would complement or even strengthen the Non-Proliferation Treaty. We cannot accept this logic.”25 The United Kingdom argued:

Productive results on nuclear disarmament can only be achieved through a consensusbased approach that takes account of the global security context. Negotiating an international ban on nuclear weapons will not bring us closer to the goal of a world without nuclear weapons. A ban will not improve the international security environment or increase trust and transparency. Nor will it address the technical and procedural challenges of nuclear disarmament verification. Pursuing a consensus based step-by-step approach to multilateral disarmament through building necessary mutual trust between states, and through putting into place the key international architecture to help build the conditions for further disarmament, offers the most realistic and effective route towards our shared goal of a world without nuclear weapons.26

As for nuclear-umbrella states, Australia, for example, said it would not join the Negotiation Conference because it considered that “the proposed treaty to ban nuclear weapons does not offer a practical path to effective disarmament or enhanced security.”27 Japan, which did not join the negotiation, made the following statement on the initial day of the Negotiation Conference in March:

A ban treaty, if it does not lead to an actual reduction of a single nuclear warhead, would be of little significance. In fact, efforts to make such a treaty without the involvement of nuclear-weapon states will only deepen the schism and division not only between nuclear weapon states and non-nuclear-weapon states, but also among non-nuclear-weapon states, which will further divide the international community. Therefore, our common goal will be pushed away, a goal of reaching a world free of nuclear weapons. Even if such a ban treaty is agreed upon, we don’t think that it would lead to the solution of real security issues, such as the threat by North Korea. This is why we voted against the UN General Assembly resolution 71/258 last year.

From discussions and considerations so far, it has become clear that the ban treaty concept has been unable to obtain understanding and involvement of nuclear-weapon states. Furthermore, this negotiation has not been formulated to pursue nuclear disarmament measures that will actually lead to the elimination of nuclear weapons, in cooperation with the nuclear weapon states. Regrettably, given the present circumstances, we must say that it would be difficult for Japan to participate in this Conference in a constructive manner and in good faith.28

As expected, the nuclear-armed/umbrella states which did not participate in the Negotiation Conference reaffirmed their positions of not signing the TPNW. On July 7 when the treaty was concluded, France, the United Kingdom and the United States jointly issued the following statement:

This initiative clearly disregards the realities of the international security environment. Accession to the ban treaty is incompatible with the policy of nuclear deterrence, which has been essential to keeping the peace in Europe and North Asia for over 70 years. A purported ban on nuclear weapons that does not address the security concerns that continue to make nuclear deterrence necessary cannot result in the elimination of a single nuclear weapon and will not enhance any country’s security, nor international peace and security…A ban treaty also risks undermining the existing international security architecture which contributes to the maintenance of international peace and security.29

Three non-NPT countries and North Korea made the following statements at the UN General Assembly.

  • India: “India did not participate in the negotiations leading to the adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. India, therefore, cannot be a party to the treaty, and shall not be bound by any of the obligations that may arise from it.”30
  • Pakistan: “This initiative faltered by ignoring the fundamental security considerations that underpin nuclear disarmament…[I]t only led us to the conclusion that the launch of such initiatives outside the CD, on a non-consensus basis and without all the key stakeholders on board, no matter how well intentioned and justified, would not lead to any real change on ground.”31
  • Israel: “[T]he treaty does not create, contribute to the development of, or indicate the existence of customary law related to the subject or the content of the Treaty.”32
  • North Korea: “The DPRK agrees with the primary focus of the [Nuclear Ban Treaty (NBT)] on total elimination of nuclear weapons; however, since the U.S. that poses nuclear threat and blackmail on the DPRK rejects the NBT, the DPRK is not in position to accede to the treaty.”33

Furthermore, some countries indicated that they would need to consider whether or not to sign the TPNW in spite of their concurrence with it. For example, the Swedish ambassador for disarmament said, “Despite the complexity of the matter, and the unprecedentedly limited time at our disposal, Sweden has voted in favor of the adoption of this treaty…At the same time, we recognize that there are crucial elements of this treaty that do not meet what my delegation was aiming for.”34 The Swiss permanent representative to the CD also said after the vote, “Switzerland is committed to the goal of a world free of nuclear weapons, but also sees risks that this treaty may weaken existing norms and agreements and create parallel processes and structures which may further contribute to polarization rather than reduce it.”35 As of the end of 2017, neither country had signed the TPNW.

After the opening for signature of the TPNW, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), which had taken an initiative for its conclusion, received the Nobel Peace Prize for 2017 “for its work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its ground-breaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons.”36 At the Nobel Prize Award Ceremony on December 10, Beatrice Fihn, Executive Director of the ICAN, emphasized that nuclear weapons “can just as easily be destroyed by placing them in a humanitarian context,” pointed out that “[t]he risk for nuclear weapons use is even greater today than at the end of the Cold War,” and stated that “there is only one way to prevent the use of nuclear weapons: prohibit and eliminate them.”37 Accepting the Nobel prize along with Fihn, ICAN activist and hibakusha Setsuko Thurlow insisted that nuclear “weapons are not a necessary evil; they are the ultimate evil.”38

Besides, parliaments of Norway, Sweden and Italy adopted their respective resolutions to require their respective governments for exploring to sign the TPNW. Each government will submit a report to its parliament regarding possible consequences of its accession to the treaty.

At the UN General Assembly on December 4, a resolution titled “Taking forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations,” which reaffirmed the importance of the TPNW and called for signing and ratifying it was adopted as a result of the following voting behavior:39

  • Proposing: Austria, Brazil, Chile, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Mexico, New Zealand, Philippines, South Africa and others
  • 125 in favor, 39 against (Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Israel, Japan, the Netherlands, South Korea, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, Russia, Turkey, the U.K., the U.S. and others), 14 abstentions (North Korea and others)

The UNGA resolution titled “Follow-up to the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice on the Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons” was also adopted, as was done in previous years.40 It says that “by commencing multilateral negotiations leading to an early conclusion of a nuclear weapons convention” all states should implement the obligation in Article VI of the NPT. The voting behavior in 2017 is presented below:

  • Proposing: Indonesia and others
  • 131 in favor, 31 Against (Australia, Belgium, France, Germany, South Korea, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Turkey, the U.K., the U.S. and others), 18 Abstentions (Canada, India, Japan and others) *North Korea did not vote

In addition, an UNGA resolution titled “Convention on the Prohibition of the Use of Nuclear Weapons,” requesting “to the Conference on Disarmament to commence negotiations in order to reach agreement on an international convention prohibiting the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons under any circumstances,” was also proposed and adopted.41 Voting behavior on this resolution was as follows:

  • Proposing: India and others
  • 123 in favor, 50 Against (Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Israel, South Korea, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the U.K., the U.S. and others), 10 Abstentions (Japan, North Korea, Russia and others)

[1] This chapter is written by Hirofumi Tosaki.

[2] Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, SIPRI Yearbook 2017: Armaments, Disarmament and International Security (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017), chapter 11.

[3] In addition, France reports that “[i]t has no undeployed weapons. All of its weapons are deployed and operational.” NPT/CONF.2015/10, March 12, 2015.

[4] On this point, Bruno Tertrais explains the reasons as following: “Stockpiles include weapons which are not entirely functional (when exactly does an atomic device become a ‘nuclear weapon’?), or which are used for non-destructive testing. As a result, giving an exact number can be difficult, misleading, and/or be accurate just for a given day.” Bruno Tertrais, “Comments on Hiroshima Report of March 2013,” Hiroshima Report Blog: Nuclear Disarmament, Nonproliferation and Nuclear Security, October 29, 2013, http://hiroshima-report.

[5] “Remarks by the Vice President on Nuclear Security,” Washington, DC., January 11, 2017,

[6] China’s Xi calls for a world without nuclear weapons,” South China Morning Post, January 17, 2017,

[7] “Trump administration to review goal of world without nuclear weapons: aide,” Reuters, March 21, 2017,

[8] Regarding each country’s approach, see the Hiroshima Report 2017.

[9] The first meeting of the Group of Eminent Persons for Substantive Advancement of Nuclear Disarmament was held in Hiroshima in November 2017.

[10] “Statement by H.E. Mr. Fumio Kishida, Minister for Foreign Affairs,” General Debate, First Session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2020 NPT Review Conference, May 2, 2017.

[11] A/RES/72/50, December 4, 2017.

[12] A/RES/72/39, December 4, 2017.

[13] A/RES/72/38, December 4, 2017.

[14] “Statement by Japan,” Thematic Debate on Nuclear Disarmament, United Nations General Assembly, October 12,

[15] See, for example, Masakatsu Ota, “Japan Waters Down Text of Annual Anti-nuclear Resolution to Imply Acceptable Use of Nukes,” Japan Times, October 21, 2017,

[16] A/RES/72/30, December 4, 2017.

[17] A/RES/72/37, December 4, 2017.

[18] A/RES/71/258, December 23, 2016.

[19] “Statement by Austria,” United Nations Conference to Negotiate a Legally Binding Instrument to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons, Leading towards Their Total Elimination, March 27, 2017.

[20] Regarding the decision making of the negotiation conference, its rules of procedure stipulated: “[the Negotiation] Conference shall make its best endeavors to ensure that the work of the Conference is accomplished by consensus,” but “[I] f the President of the Conference determines that all efforts to reach consensus have been exhausted, the decisions of the Conference on all matters of substance shall be taken by a two-thirds majority of the Member States participating at the Conference present and voting.”

[21] “Statement by Austria,” General Debate, UN General Assembly, October 3, 2017.

[22] China and India participated in the Organizational Session of the Negotiation Conference on February 18 where rules of procedure of the Conference were discussed but did not join the conference itself. India explained that its concerns about a “noncomprehensive approach” to nuclear disarmament and the absence of international verification measures are why it abstained on the resolution establishing these negotiations in the UN General Assembly. Allison Pytlak and Ray Acheson, “States Discuss Rules for Nuclear Ban Negotiations,” Reaching Critical Will, February 16, 2017, http://www.

[23] Michelle Nichols, “U.S., Britain, France, Others Skip Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty Talks,” Reuters, March 27, 2017,

[24] “Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying’s Regular Press Conference,” Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China, March 20, 2017,

[25] “Statement by Russia,” General Debate, First Session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2020 NPT Review Conference, May 2, 2017.

[26] “Statement by the United Kingdom,” General Debate, First Session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2020 NPT Review Conference, May 3, 2017.

[27] “Australia to Boycott Global Summit on Treaty to Ban Nuclear Weapons,” Guardian, February 17, 2017,

[28] “Statement by Japan,” the High-level Segment of the United Nations conference to negotiate a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination, March 27, 2017, New York.

[29] “Joint Press Statement from the Permanent Representatives to the United Nations of the United States, United Kingdom, and France Following the Adoption of a Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapons,” July 7, 2017, https://usun.state. gov/remarks/7892.

[30] “Statement by India,” General Debate, UN General Assembly, October 9, 2017.

[31] “Statement by Pakistan,” Thematic Debate on Nuclear Weapons, UN General Assembly, October 13, 2017.

[32] “Statement by Israel,” General Debate, UN General Assembly, October 3, 2017.

[33] “Statement by North Korea,” General Debate, UN General Assembly, October 6, 2017.

[34] Alicia Sanders-Zakre, “States Hesitate to Sign Nuclear Ban Treaty,” Arms Control Today, Vol. 47, No. 7 (September 2017), p. 32.

[35] Ibid.

[36] Norwegian Nobel Committee, “The Nobel Peace Prize for 2017,” October 6, 2017,

[37] “International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN): Nobel Lecture,” the Nobel Peace Prize 2017, December 10, 2017,

[38] Ibid.

[39] A/RES/72/31, December 4, 2017.

[40] A/RES/72/58, December 4, 2017.

[41] A/RES/72/59, December 4, 2017.

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