As nuclear arsenals decline, further reductions will become progressively more dependent on high confidence among all the states directly concerned that they have reliable knowledge of each other’s past, present and probable future nuclear activities. This working group would identify the key parameters of transparency and consider ways in which states can begin to build mutual confidence in anticipation of future commitments leading towards the verifiable reduction and elimination of nuclear arsenals. Such confidence will take time to build. It cannot be generated “just in time” to support particular steps in the process of nuclear diminution.
Specific questions to be addressed would include:
- How can nuclear-armed states establish transparency with respect to matters such as: operational status of nuclear forces; size and scope of nuclear arsenals; doctrines for use of nuclear weapons; plans for reduction of nuclear arsenals; and information required to facilitate verification of nuclear baselines and nuclear disarmament?
- What transparency mechanisms and methods can be developed to build confidence that civilian nuclear programs will be used for exclusively peaceful purposes?