IRRC No. 899

Changing the discourse on nuclear weapons: The humanitarian initiative

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This article examines the progress of the humanitarian initiative to reframe the nuclear weapons discourse internationally. The initiative seeks to shift debate away from theories of strategic stability and towards a focus on the impact of nuclear weapons themselves. This effort has now gathered significant support at an international level, and its implications are increasingly recognized by both nuclear-armed and non-nuclear-armed States. The initiative has been underpinned by the deliberate logic of humanitarian disarmament. A treaty banning nuclear weapons, around which momentum is gathering, would be an achievable, legally coherent and logical next step developing from the initiative.

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