Disarmament Insight


Thursday, 18 February 2016

Nuclear disarmament: 2016 Open-ended Working Group

The 2016 Open-ended Working Group (OEWG) is the result of a resolution tabled in the First Committee of the seventieth United Nations General Assembly in October 2015. The resolution, entitled ‘Taking forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations’ (A/C.1/70/L.13/Rev.1), proposed the establishment of a working group open to participation by all United Nations Member States. Participation is also open to international organisations and civil society representatives.

In a vote in the First Committee, the resolution passed by 135 in favour, to 12 against, with 33 abstentions. In the subsequent vote by the General Assembly itself, 138 votes were cast in support of the resolution (A/RES/70/33) with 12 against. There were 34 abstentions. The OEWG is meeting in Geneva for a total of 15 days during the period 22 February to 24 August under the likely chairmanship of Ambassador Thani Thongphakdi of Thailand.

OEWG Brief no. 2, a paper prepared by UNIDIR as background for participants in the OEWG, can be found on UNIDIR's website

That paper surveys the nuclear disarmament landscape and updates an earlier publication that UNIDIR prepared for an OEWG that met in 2013.

Tim Caughley
Resident Senior Fellow