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Arms Control, Disarmament and Non-Proliferation: Home


When searching for information on this topic, potentially useful keywords to use include :

  • arms control
  • ban treaty
  • counterproliferation
  • disarmament
  • non-proliferation
  • nuclear disarmament
  • weapons of mass destruction (WMD)
  • NATO's Defence and Deterrence Posture Review (DDPR)

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In addition to sources found on the internet (e.g. websites, news & blogs, reports, etc.), a select number of articles and books available from the NATO Multimedia Library have been included in this guide. These sources of information are by no means a comprehensive collection. The selection criteria was based on the sources' currency and relevancy to this topic.

Furthermore, quick search boxes for online databases subscribed by the Library (available to staff working at NATO HQ) as well as links to the library catalog are available for you to locate additional resources.


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"Arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation have been an important aspect of NATO’s agenda since the Cold War. As part of the 1967 Harmel Report on the Future Tasks of the Alliance, NATO Allies formally recognised the importance of negotiations to improve the climate of East-West relations, including talks on disarmament. At the same time, Allies agreed to develop the necessary military capabilities to deter aggression." (Source: 2016 Secretary General's Annual Report  - 13 March 2017)

This LibGuide is intended to provide a few starting points to assist you with your research on issues related to arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation, in particular within the NATO context.

Good places to start your research:

On disarmament, a good guide:

  • "Disarmament: A Basic Guide" by Melissa Gillis, published by the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs in collaboration with the NGO Committee on Disarmament, Peace and Security, August 2009
On arms control:
  • "Nuclear Arms Control in 2012" a presentation that "examines the status of nuclear arms control in early 2012 and key issues facing future negotiations" by Steven Pifer (19 January 2012)

Please also refer to the Disarmament Treaties Database produced by United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA).


A Selection of News

Countries meeting at a United Nations conference in New York adopted on 7 July 2017 the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (UN Document A/CONF.229/2017/8), the first multilateral legally-binding instrument for nuclear disarmament to have been negotiated in 20 years.

In May 2017, NATO Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller made a visit to Austria with a lectureat the Vienna Centre for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation (VCDNP). Addressing a seminar on ‘NATO’s Enduring Commitment to the Non-Proliferation Treaty’, Ms. Gottemoeller outlined the Alliance’s efforts to preserve peace, limit proliferation and reduce the number of nuclear weapons." (Sources: NATO, 9 May 2017 and ''NATO’s enduring commitment to the Non-Proliferation Treaty'' by NATO Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller).

On 29 and 30 May 2017, Finland hosted the 13th Annual NATO Conference on WMD Arms Control, Disarmament, and Non-proliferation. Topics of discussion included chemical weapons use in Syria, North Korean nuclear and missile proliferation, and the UN nuclear weapons ban treaty negotiations. (NATO: Finland hosts annual NATO conference on proliferation challenges).

On 9 May 2016, NATO Deputy Secretary General Ambassador Alexander Vershbow opened the twelfth annual NATO Conference on Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Arms Control, Disarmament, and Non-proliferation in Ljubljana (Slovenia), calling for efforts to strengthen non-proliferation regime. (Source: NATO, 9 May 2016)

On the eleventh annual conference, NATO DSG Ambassador Vershbow said that "the [Ukraine] conflict also has a WMD dimension.  Russia has stepped up its nuclear exercises and integrated a nuclear component into conventional exercises". (Source; NATO, 2015)

Since violence broke out in Crimea (beginning of March 2014), the NATO-Russia relations plunged to their lowest point since the end of the Cold War. On 23 June 2014, during the 10th Annual NATO Conference on WMD Arms Control, disarmament and non-proliferation, the NATO Deputy Secretary General Ambassador Vershbow stressed importance of transparency in arms control and disarmament and called the participants to seize the discussions in this forum as an unique opportunity to shape the global non-proliferation and disarmament agendas, and to take them forward. (Source; NATO, 2014).

The United States officially charged Russia with violating the INF Treaty in July 2014, when the State Department released the 2014 edition of its report Adherence to and Compliance with Arms Control, Nonproliferation, and Disarmament Agreements and Commitments (the Compliance Report).

As part of Allied overall efforts against proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), NATO’s 2012 International Partners’ Outreach Event of the NATO Committee on Proliferation in Defence format (CP (D)) took place in Riga, Latvia, from 20 to 22 March 2012. To provide a broader and scientific view on issues related to countering WMD Threats in Maritime Environment, a NATO Science for Peace and Security Advanced Research Workshop was organised back-to-back with an Industries Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Defence Exhibition under the joint title “Countering WMD Threats in Maritime Environment - Development of Technologies and Modelling of Risks”. Both events were co-organised by CP(D) Co- chairs Latvia and the United States, and Sweden as a partner nation. (Source; NATO, 2012)

The Annual NATO Conference on Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Arms Control, Disarmament and Non-proliferation, hosted this year by the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was opened in Budapest on 14 June. For the eighth time, this landmark non-proliferation event brought together senior officials from countries on five continents as well as from international organizations and academic institutions. (Source; NATO, 2012)