Three minutes to midnight? The state of play of nuclear weapons 2015

Presented by ANU College of Asia & the Pacific

Five years ago hopes were high that the world was at last seriously headed towards nuclear disarmament. By the end of 2014, however, the optimism has faded, giving way to pessimism as the hands of the famous Doomsday Clock were moved to three minutes to midnight.

A New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) was signed and ratified, but left stockpiles intact and disagreements about missile defence and conventional-arms imbalances unresolved. Nuclear weapons numbers have decreased overall but increased in Asia; nuclear-weapons programs in India, Pakistan and China have accelerated; North Korea has conducted three nuclear tests and the CTBT (Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty) is yet to enter into force; and fissile material production is not yet banned. Negotiations about comprehensive agreement on Iran are still unresolved, and the push for talks on a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East has stalled. Cyber-threats to nuclear weapons systems have intensified, outer space remains at risk of nuclearisation, and the upsurge of geopolitical tensions over the crisis in Ukraine produced flawed conclusions about the folly of giving up nuclear weapons on the one hand, and open reminders about Russia’s substantial nuclear arsenal, on the other.

Against this sombre backdrop, you are invited to a presentation by two of the world’s leading experts in the field. Professor Gareth Evans and Professor Ramesh Thakur will present the conclusions of their recent report (with Tanya Ogilvie-White) 'Nuclear Weapons: The State of Play 2015'. The report provides an authoritative advocacy tool for governments, organisations and individuals committed to achieving a safer and saner nuclear-weapon-free world in the lead-up to the Ninth Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Review Conference in New York in April–May 2015.

The event is free and open to the public. Complimentary copies of 'Nuclear Weapons: The State of Play 2015' will be available for all attendees.