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Operationalizing Nuclear Disarmament Verification

Publisher: SIPRI
SIPRI, Stockholm:
April, 2019

This SIPRI Insights seeks to contribute to the operationalization of nuclear disarmament verification. It explores existing solutions to define a baseline for new arms control and disarmament verification regimes, and considers the requirements for verification under the 2017 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). Existing solutions might be sufficient to enable several near-term disarmament steps and to lay the foundations for a comprehensive nuclear disarmament verification regime supporting the TPNW. 

However, more technical work is needed to achieve all the preconditions for a nuclear weapon-free world, particularly on verifying the dismantlement of nuclear weapons. At the same time, a more favourable political context could reduce the extent to which technical challenges are perceived as obstacles to nuclear disarmament. Even in the absence of new disarmament treaties, the operationalization of disarmament verification can begin at a conceptual and discursive level, by adopting a more policy-oriented approach to disarmament verification. 


I. Introduction

II. Mapping disarmament verification solutions 

III. Assessing verification challenges related to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons 

IV. Conclusions


Dr Tytti Erästö is a Senior Researcher in the SIPRI Weapons of Mass Destruction Programme.
Ugnė Komžaitė is an intern in the SIPRI Nuclear Disarmament, Arms Control and Non-proliferation Programme.
Dr Petr Topychkanov is an Associate Senior Researcher in the SIPRI Weapons of Mass Destruction Programme.