Event information

2 May 2018, 18:30-20:00


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Abolishing Nuclear Weapons: Prospects and Challenges


Picture of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial in Japan Picture of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial in Japan

It is widely accepted today that the use of nuclear weapons would generally be contrary to international law. Yet, for a long time, there was no rule in international law that explicitly, unequivocally and comprehensively prohibited the use of nuclear weapons. This crucial legal gap was filled on 7 July 2017 when 122 non-nuclear states voted to adopt the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, the first legally binding universal treaty to prohibit the development, production, possession, and use or threat of use of nuclear weapons.

Please join our panelists to explore prospects and challenges for achieving a nuclear weapons free world:

  • What are the international law principles governing the threat or use of nuclear weapons, including for states who do not join the nuclear weapons ban treaty?
  • How did new human- and victim-centered approaches to disarmament inform and influence the debate on nuclear weapons? How did civil society actors shape those new approaches? What are the implications of such new approaches to disarmament for the future of the nuclear weapons ban treaty?
  • What is the significance of the nuclear weapons ban treaty for nuclear disarmament, including within the non-proliferation treaty. In particular, what is its significance for non-nuclear weapons states that are under the nuclear umbrella of military alliances?


  • Louise Doswald-Beck, retired professor of international law, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies and Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights
  • Marc Finaud, Senior Advisor, Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP)
  • Daniel Rietiker, International Law Lecturer, University of Lausanne, and Swiss Lawyers for Nuclear Disarmament