The Centre for Science and Security Studies (CSSS) at King's College London and the European Leadership Network have published a joint report which sets out a way forward for key nuclear weapon states working towards the goals of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
The P5 Process is a dedicated forum that brings together the five nuclear-weapon states (NWS)—China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States—recognised by the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). It was originally conceived to demonstrate the NWS’ commitment to their NPT obligations and facilitate confidence-building and cooperation on disarmament issues but has had mixed success since it was established in 2009.
In 2019-2020, the Centre for Science and Security Studies at King’s College London and the European Leadership Network (ELN) conducted a project to investigate challenges and opportunities for the P5 Process.
The year-long project was funded by the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office, involved participants from over 30 countries, and included high-level participation from government actors in the UK, US, China, France, and Russia; global nuclear experts; and the leadership of the NPT Review Conference.
It was particularly successful in encouraging further transparency within the P5 Process among the P5 states and to the wider NPT community, including through leading a civil society event as part of the official P5 meeting in London in February 2020.
The project constructed and promoted realistic and politically feasible recommendations distilled from discussions with nuclear experts and government officials. This joint report offers these practical recommendations for the P5 in advance of the NPT’s quintennial Review Conference.
In the introduction to the report, H.E. Ambassador Gustavo Zlauvinen, President-Designate for the 10th NPT Review Conference, states: 'Maintaining the credibility of the NPT and working for a successful outcome of the Review Conference should be a priority for all, and I am pleased to see that it is recommended in this paper.'
He adds: 'Other recommendations include specific steps that the P5 and other States Parties can take to further progress, such as considering the impact of emerging technology, developing an agenda for the next review cycle, and further contributions to nuclear disarmament, thus ensuring the NPT’s success beyond the current review cycle.