Bits From Abroad

November 2013

According to the Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance, at October 1, 2013, the US had 1688 deployed nuclear warheads and Russia had 1400. Russia is to increase nuclear weapons spending by more than 50% in the next three years.

Following recent talks, the prospect of a breakthrough in the long-running dispute about Iran’s nuclear programme is closer than at any time in the last decade. One senior US official said, “I have been doing this now for two years and I have never had such intense, detailed, straight- forward, candid conversations with the Iran delegation before.”
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Nobel Peace Prize laureates have called on world leaders to bring about the “universal, legal and verifiable elimination of nuclear weapons”.

Five French parliamentarians have sent a letter to ambassadors to the UN, supporting the UN Open Ended Working Group on Taking Forward Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament Negotiations.

The Costa Rican Ambassador has introduced a draft resolution to the United Nations General Assembly, “Taking forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations”. It highlights the way in which the OEWG enabled governments and civil society to engage in a “constructive, transparent and interactive manner to address various issues related to nuclear disarmament”, calls on the Conference on Disarmament and other forums to take up the nuclear disarmament proposals in the OEWG report, and calls for a review of multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations at the UN General Assembly in 2014 to decide whether the OEWG should undertake further work.