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Irreversibility in Nuclear Disarmament  



Wednesday 16 to Friday 18 March, 2022



Reference number


The Final Document of the 2000 NPT Review Conference established the 13 Practical Steps toward nuclear disarmament, step five of which is irreversibility. Subsequently, the 2010 Review established three key principles of disarmament: transparency, verification and irreversibility. While much work has been advanced on verifiability and transparency, the principle of irreversibility in nuclear disarmament (IND) – both practically and conceptually – remains underdeveloped.  

Building on the UK-Norway working paper distributed ahead of the forthcoming NPT Review Conference, Wilton Park is convening a core group of policymakers and senior experts to discuss and critically engage on IND. Our aim is to start an international dialogue to better understand and identify requirements for IND and to develop more detailed thinking about how states can apply the principle in relation to the implementation of their Treaty obligations. In doing so, this dialogue seeks to:  

  • Consider the technical, legal, and political parameters and criteria of irreversibility, both during a process of disarmament and after disarmament has been achieved 
  • Examine the implications and lessons from past and current cases of nuclear disarmament 
  • Identify the spectrum of positions on IND 
  • Develop a shared understanding of what IND will require 
  • Explore potential avenues for taking this work forward in international policy 

In partnership with UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Pre-reading document

Wilton Park reference number: WP2019

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