Nuclear Diplomacy and Disarmament

Why UNSC joint statement on nuclear weapons is important


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Not much

Mains level : Paper 2- P5 joint statement on nuclear weapons


The leaders of five nuclear-weapons States — the US, Russia, China, the UK, and France, also known as the P5 issued a joint statement on preventing nuclear war and avoiding the ongoing global arms race.

Overview of the P5 statement

  • It is not a binding resolution and reiterates some of the core obligations of the NPT.
  • The P5 statement reaffirms that a “nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought” because of its “far-reaching consequences”.
  • The statement also expresses a commitment to the group’s Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) obligations and “to prevent the unauthorized or unintended use of nuclear weapons”.
  • Declaring that an arms race would benefit none and endanger all, the P5 have undertaken to:
  • (1) work with all states to create a security environment more conducive to progress on disarmament with the ultimate goal of a world without nuclear weapons.
  • (2) continue seeking bilateral and multilateral diplomatic approaches to avoid military confrontations, strengthen stability and predictability, increase mutual understanding and confidence”.
  • (3) pursue “constructive dialogue with mutual respect and acknowledgment of each other’s security interests and concerns”.

Bold action on 6 measures

  • Bold action on six fronts is necessary.
  • 1) Chart a path for nuclear disarmament: That member states should chart a path forward on nuclear disarmament.
  • 2) Transparency and dialogue: They should agree to new measures of “transparency and dialogue”.
  • 3) Address nuclear crises: They should address the “simmering” nuclear crises in the Middle East and Asia.
  • 4) Strengthen global bodies: They should strengthen the existing global bodies that support non-proliferation, including the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
  • 5) Peaceful use of nuclear technology: They should promote the peaceful use of nuclear technology.
  • 6) Elimination of nuclear weapons: they should remind “the world’s people that eliminating nuclear weapons is the only way to guarantee that they will never be used.

Peace education and the right to peace

  • Peace is necessary for rights, freedom, equality, and justice, and for that reason, we need what Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. called “education in the obvious”— namely, peace education.
  • This is required at multiple levels, ranging across the planetary, global, supranational, regional, national, and local levels of social cognition and action.
  •  UN Resolution 39/11 (November 12, 1984) proclaims that the peoples of our planet have a sacred right to peace and equally solemnly declares that the “preservation of the right of peoples to peace and the promotion of its implementation constitute a fundamental obligation of each State”.
  • The subsequent UN Resolution 53/243 B, declaring a program of action for a culture of peace (1999) also owes a great deal to Gandhi’s legacy and mission.


The statement is politically significant given the unimaginable danger posed by the 13,000 nuclear weapons currently believed to be held by a handful of countries, and the growing specter of loose nukes, which may be deployed by armed terrorist groups for nefarious purposes.

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