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The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty is in danger: Here’s how to save it

The following is a message from the European Leadership Network. Read the full policy brief, 'The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty is in danger: Here’s how to save it', by European Leadership Network Fellow Maximilian Hoell, here.

United Nations Security Council Meeting on the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, 2016 (image by the US Department of State via Flickr)


On the International Day Against Nuclear Testing, the ELN releases a new policy brief highlighting the challenges facing the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), and how these can be mitigated.

Recent declarations in Washington indicate that the CTBT could become the next international arms control target. Given the treaty’s pivotal role in supporting global Non-Proliferation regime, the removal of US signature risks not only a return to nuclear testing, but the undermining of the 1995 Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).

Public allegations against Russia for violating the CTBT, withdrawal from the JCPOA, and termination of the INF Treaty suggests that Washington’s withdrawal from the CTBT is plausible. In this policy brief, Maximillian Hoell examines the Trump Administration’s policy on the treaty without offering judgement on allegations of Russian violation. Rather, he assesses how accusations weaken the CTBT and fuel perceptions of brinkmanship, offering recommendations to strengthen the international norm against testing. The author argues that adopting safeguarding measures would not only strengthen the CTBT but could help bring the treaty closer to entry into force.

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