Ten years ago Presidents George Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev issued directions to begin one of the deepest and most comprehensive programmes of nuclear weapons reduction the world has yet seen.
These reciprocal unilateral Declarations still constitute the only regime covering tactical nuclear weapons (TNWs). At the same time, however, these Declarations suffer from inherent difficulties and weaknesses that metigate their impact. The seminar focused on further efforts needed from the international community to strengthen and improve the workings of the Declarations.
The seminar brought together government officials and diplomats dealing with arms control and disarmament matters as well as selected nongovernmental experts specialised in tactical nuclear weapons. It is a part of a long-term project launched by UNIDIR in order to support efforts to address and curb the problem of TNWs.
The seminar was held off the record and therefore all comments made by participants during the meeting are not directly attributed. This report reflects the substance of the lively discussions held, and of the recommendations suggested.
Unilateral measures are instruments that may be used to enhance the process of arms control. The beneficial effects of unilateral arms control initiatives are weighted against their inherent uncertainties and weaknesses, particularly with respect to their implementation. In the light of growing reliance on unilateral measures, specific attention has to be devoted to these issues from the perspectives of international law and politics.