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Hiroshima for Global Peace

(9) Transparency in Nuclear Forces, Fissile Material for Nuclear Weapons, and Nuclear Strategy/Doctrine

(9) Transparency in Nuclear Forces, Fissile Material for Nuclear Weapons, and Nuclear Strategy/Doctrine

In the Final Document of the 2010 NPT RevCon, the NWS were called upon to report on actions taken toward “accelerat[ion of] concrete progress on the steps leading to nuclear disarmament” to the 2014 PrepCom (Action 5). All states parties to the NPT, including the NWS, were also requested to submit regular reports on implementing nuclear disarmament measures agreed at the previous RevCon (Action 20), and the NWS were asked to agree on a standard reporting form, as a confidence- building measure (Action 21).

In accordance with these recommendations, the NWS submitted their respective reports on implementation of the NPT’s three pillars (nuclear disarmament, non proliferation and peaceful use of nuclear energy) to the 2014 NPT PrepCom and the 2015 RevCon, using a common framework, themes and categories. While no similar report was submitted by any NWS to the 2017 and 2018 NPT PrepComs, China204 and the United Kingdom205 submitted their respective reports to the 2019 PrepCom. As for NNWS, only seven countries (Australia, Austria, Canada, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, and New Zealand) submitted their respective implementation reports on the NPT.206

At the 2019 NPT PrepCom, the NPDI proposed to agree on a “standard reporting form” by the 2020 NPT RevCon; report to the 2020 RevCon on the 2010 action plan undertakings; and contemplate and discuss the issues regarding a regular reporting and reporting form at the 2020 RevCon.207 The NAC also emphasized the importance of transparency, stating: “[A]ccountability can be strengthened through enhanced transparency and measurability of the implementation of nuclear disarmament obligations and commitments.”208

Among nuclear-armed states, the United States has been considered the most transparent concerning nuclear issues. In recent years, however, the amount of information released from the United States has been decreasing. As mentioned above, the Department of Defense decided not to disclose information regarding the current number of possessed and dismantled nuclear weapons, as requested by a U.S. think tank in 2019. In addition, the status of nuclear weapons-related tests that did not detonate was not updated after the first quarter of 2015, and no information about the past has been available since 2018.
Previously, at the 2012 NPT PrepCom, the NPDI proposed a draft form for reporting on nuclear warheads, delivery vehicles, fissile material for nuclear weapons, and nuclear strategy/ policies.209 Using the draft form, the following table summarizes the degree of transparency taken by the nuclearweapon/ armed states.

204 NPT/CONF.2020/PC.III/8, April 29, 2019.

205 NPT/CONF.2020/PC.III/7, April 25, 2019.

206 Among these countries, Australia, Austria, Canada, Japan and New Zealand also submitted their respective report to the 2018 NPT PrepCom.

207 NPT/CONF.2020/PC.III/WP24, April 18, 2019.

208 NPT/CONF.2020/PC.III/WP35, April 26, 2019.

209 NPT/CONF.2015/PC.I/WP.12, April 20, 2012.

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