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No First Use Of Nuclear Weapons: Asia-Pacific Perspectives – Webinar

May 22, 2021 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

The webinar has finished. Watch the videos of the webinar.

The New Zealand Centre for Global Studies is honoured to invite you to our first webinar for 2021 to be held on 22nd May 2021 and entitled No First Use of Nuclear Weapons: Asia-Pacific Perspectives.

Speakers include Professor Nobumasa Akiyama, Hitotsubashi University, Tokyo; Dr. Marianne Hanson, University of Queensland, Brisbane; Dr. Manpreet Sethi, Distinguished Fellow, Centre for Air Power Studies (CAPS), New Delhi; and Dr. Tong Zhao, Senior fellow, Carnegie-Tsinghua, Beijing.

The recent entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) could breathe new life into nuclear arms control and disarmament initiatives worldwide. Support for the Treaty stems from the widespread belief that nuclear weapons pose unacceptable risks, and an awareness that those risks are growing.

Even those who denounce the TPNW as flawed or premature believe the current trend towards increased nuclear salience is dangerous and progress on nuclear disarmament is critical – a precious area of common ground among otherwise divided deterrence and disarmament communities.

This common ground is rare, and could provide an opportunity for TPNW states parties, including New Zealand, and TPNW holdouts, including Australia and Japan, to use their combined diplomatic leverage to nudge the nuclear-armed states to take small steps in the direction of nuclear disarmament, despite their determination to hold out from the Treaty.

With this goal in mind, NZCGS has launched a project exploring whether relatively modest measures, including no-first-use doctrines (NFU, i.e., commitments by nuclear-armed states not to be the first to use nuclear weapons) can be used as a means of reducing nuclear risks, reinforcing the nuclear taboo, and generating renewed disarmament momentum.

Speakers, discussants and audience members from across the Asia-Pacific are invited to join the NZCGS team in questioning whether/in what ways NFU pledges could serve these purposes. If not, why not, and what are the alternatives? In particular, beyond getting the nuclear-armed states to join the TPNW, which they are refusing to do, what can non-nuclear weapon states (including US allies) do in the short term to persuade the nuclear-armed states to reduce nuclear dangers and pursue nuclear disarmament?

Video from the Webinar

The following clips are from the Webinar.  To view them in full screen, click the expand icon on the video clip.

1 Why did we take on this project? (1 min 45s)


2 Tong Zhao on China’s NFU perspective (13 min 49s)


3 Manpreet Sethi on India’s NFU perspective (14 min 24s)


4 Nobumasa Akiyama on Japan’s NFU perspective (12 min 26s)


5 Marianne Hanson on Australia’s NFU perspective (13 min 40s)


6 Ramesh Thakur’s perspective on the Speakers’ views (6 min 18s)


7 Ramesh poses a question to Tong and Manpreet (9 min 38)


8 Ramesh poses a question to Nobumasa and Marianne (4min 29s)


May 22, 2021
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
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New Zealand Centre for Global Studies

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