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Nuclear disarmament-the comprehensive, universal, and permanent abolition of all nuclear weapons, pursuant to a verifiable, legally binding international agreement-has long been one of the most ambitious, controversial, and urgent items on the agenda for arms control. To date, however, most of the discussion of "getting to zero" has highlighted the political, military, technical and diplomatic dimensions of this complex problem, and there has been relatively little attention to the legal requirements for drafting such a novel treaty.

This Article fills that gap by offering two proposed agreements. The first, a non-legally-bindingfr amework accord, would be designedf or signature relatively soon (e.g., in 2015) to re-commit states to the goal of nuclear elimination and to energize their concerted individual and collective action on a set of prescribed steps in pursuit of it. The second, a legally-binding document, would be concluded at some point in the more distant future, when states had accomplished great reductions in their current nuclear arsenals and were ready, at last, to plunge forward to true abolition.

The Article describes the conditions necessary for the further articulation of these two novel agreements, and the text of each instrument carries numerous annotations that identify competing options, describe the negotiating range, and illuminate the drafter's choices. The hope is that something novel can be gained-fresh insights can be suggested, and new questions can be raised (even if answering them remains elusive)-by advancing the dialogue about nuclear disarmament to the concrete stage of treaty drafting.

Publication Citation

45 Geo. J. Int'l L. 683-781 (2014)