Verification and Monitoring projects
Supporting multilateral verification of nuclear disarmament
Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- 16/08/2011: Start of Phase I of the project.
- 27/01/2012: VERTIC releases briefing paper on 'Multilateral verification: Exploring new ideas', by David Cliff and David Keir.
- 08-09/03/2012: First international experts meeting (Johannesburg, South Africa).
- 20-21/08/2012: Second international experts meeting (Farnham, United Kingdom).
- 01/05/2013: Start of Phase II of the project.
- 25-26/06/2013: Third international experts meeting (Stockholm, Sweden).
- 25/04/2013: VERTIC releases briefing paper on 'Nuclear disarmament verification: the case for multilateralism', by David Cliff, Hassan Elbahtimy, David Keir and Andreas Persbo.
- 5/12/2013: First Vienna seminar held, on ‘Verification for Disarmament, Non-Proliferation, and Arms Control.’
- 13-14/01/2014: Fourth international experts meeting (Cape Town, South Africa).
- 13/02/2014: Second Vienna seminar held, on ‘Results and Lessons from the Trilateral Initiative on the IAEA Verification of Weapon-Origin Fissile Material.’
- 26/05/2014: Third Vienna seminar held on ‘Dismantling the Iraqi Nuclear Programme: The Inspections of the International Atomic Energy Agency, 1991-1998.’
- 9-11/06/2014: ‘WMD verification: global capacity challenges’ conference held at Wilton Park, UK.
- 23-24/06/2014: Fifth international experts meeting (Aschau im Chiemgau, Germany).
- 3-4/09/2014: 'Verification Solutions' working group meeting (London, UK).
- 4-5/03/2015: Sixth and final international experts meeting (London, UK).
- 15/05/2015: Presentations on project work delivered at NPT Review Conference (see presentations section below).
- 11/09/2015: Release of Verification Matters 10 and 11 (see public documents below).
- 16/11/2015: Release of Verification Matters 12 (see public documents below)
The project examines how nuclear disarmament can be verified through multilateral arrangements and explores the potential role that international and multilateral organisations can play in this process.
So far, the bulk of nuclear disarmament verification has been done bilaterally or through informal arrangements. But an emphasis on multilateral solutions is growing. Action 19 of the final document of the 2010 NPT Review Conference notes the agreement of all parties on the importance of ‘supporting cooperation’ amongst a wide range of actors aimed towards ‘increasing confidence, improving transparency and developing efficient verification capabilities related to nuclear disarmament’.
Action 30 of the same document calls for 'the wider application of safeguards to peaceful nuclear facilities in the nuclear-weapon states, under the relevant voluntary offer safeguards agreements, in the most economic and practical way possible, taking into account the availability of IAEA resources,' stressing also 'that comprehensive safeguards and additional protocols should be universally applied once the complete elimination of nuclear weapons has been achieved.’
This project aims to provide a systematic investigation of the various verification options and solutions for disarmament verification. In particular, it examines how current multilateral verification standards and best practices can be developed and deployed to achieve the effective verification of nuclear disarmament. The project also seeks to engage with non-nuclear-weapon states, in addition to nuclear-weapon states, to assess international attitudes toward the multilateral verification of disarmament—as well as to inform the evolving international debate on this issue.
- The creation of a simulated environment for nuclear disarmament that includes detailed fuel cycle modeling, the development of disarmament scenarios and the modeling of notional dismantlement facilities.
- The oganisation of six international experts meetings under the project before the 2015 NPT Review Conference.
- The establishment of a series of public seminars on disarmament verification (held in Vienna, in collaboration with the Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation).
- The organisation of two conferences dedicated to disarmament verification at Wilton Park in the UK.
- Various publications and outreach activities designed to contribute to the international debate on disarmament verification.
A number of public documents, either related by subject matter or published directly under this project, have been produced by VERTIC staff over recent years.
- Verifying Warhead Dismantlement: Past, present, future (David Cliff, Andreas Persbo and Hassan Elbahtimy, Verification Matters 9, September 2010)
- Verifying multilateral regimes: uncertain futures (Yasemin Balci, VERTIC Brief 15, August 2011)
- Irreversibility in Nuclear Disarmament: Practical steps against nuclear rearmament (David Cliff, Andreas Persbo and Hassan Elbahtimy, VERTIC special report, September 2011)
- Multilateral verification: exploring new ideas (David Cliff and David Keir, VERTIC Brief 17, January 2012)
- Nuclear disarmament verification: the case for multilateralism (David Cliff with David Keir, VERTIC Brief 19, April 2013)
- Member State Views on an IAEA Role in Verifying Nuclear Disarmament (Verification Matters 10, September 2015)
- Member State Views on an IAA Role in Verifying Nuclear Disarmament - Survey Results Table
- The IAEA and Nuclear Disarmament Verification: A Primer (Verification Matters 11, September 2015)
- Exploring Multilateral Verification of Nuclear Disarmament: Scenarios, Modelling and Simulations (Verification Matters 12, November 2015)
VERTIC staff regularly present on issues pertinent to mulitlateral nulcear disarmament verification. Relevant presentations include the following:
- 'Multilateral disarmament verification' (David Keir, Vienna, 19 September 2011)
- 'Advantages of a multilateral approach to the verification of future nuclear disarmament activities' (David Cliff, Vienna, 8 May 2012)
- 'Technical challenges and opportunities in future multilateral nuclear disarmament verification' (David Keir, Vienna, 8 May 2012)
- 'Multilateral approaches to future nuclear warhead dismantlement verification' (David Cliff, London, 10 May 2012)
- 'Trust and nuclear warhead dismantlement verification', (David Cliff, Birmingham, 4 September 2012)
- 'Verification in a nuclear weapon-free world' (Andreas Persbo, Vienna, 20 November 2012)
- 'Verification: how we can use it and what it can do', (Larry MacFaul, Vienna, 13 December 2012)
- 'Verification and irreversibility when going to zero' (Andreas Persbo, Berlin, 22 February 2013)
- 'State of play of multilateral verification' (Andreas Persbo, Geneva, 17 May 2013)
- 'Prague and Berlin: two speeches, same vision' (Andreas Persbo, Prague, 6 September 2013)
- 'The zone, fuel cycle and multilateral verification measures' (Alberto Muti, Amman, 14 November 2013)
- 'Multilateral nuclear disarmament verification and North Korea' (David Cliff, Kuala Lumpur, 26 November 2013)
- 'Verification in a disarmed world' (Andreas Persbo, Wilton Park, 19 December 2013)
- 'Future verification challenges' (David Cliff, Beijing, 17 January 2014)
- 'Building a simulated environment for the study of multilateral approaches to nuclear materials verification' (Russell Moul, Vienna, 22 October 2014)
- 'Supporting multilateral disarmament verification: Introduction to the project' (Andreas Persbo, NPT Review Conference, 15 May 2015)
- 'The demand for multilateral verification of disarmament: the IAEA' (Larry MacFaul, NPT Review Conference, 15 May 2015)
- 'Supporting multilateral disarmament verification: Technical work under the project' (Andreas Persbo, NPT Review Conference, 15 May 2015)
- 'Multilateral verification of nuclear disarmament: The role of the IAEA' (Hugh Chalmers, Vienna, 17 September 2015)
- 'Multilateral verification of nuclear disarmament 2011-2015' (Andreas Persbo, International Partnership for Nuclear Disarmament Verification, Oslo, November 2015)