Creating the Conditions and Building the Framework for a Nuclear Weapons-Free World was the title of the Berlin Framework Forum, a new initiative designed to help implement the decisions of the 2010 NPT Review Conference leading to the elimination of nuclear weapons.

26 governments, 12 parliamentarians (from Germany as well as other states), the United Nations and some of the preeminent research institutions in the field took part in the February 20-22 event.

The conference was presided over by Dr. Tadatoshi Akiba, in his first public function as the Chairman of MPI, and by Ambassador Rolf Nikel, Commissioner of the German Federal Government for Arms Control and Disarmament. The Forum was sponsored by MPI and Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament, with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Germany, the Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs of Austria, the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, and Rissho Kosei-kai.

In his opening remarks, Dr. Akiba said, “You will note that we are focusing on two acts that are both positive and forward-looking – ‘creating’ and ‘building.’ ‘Creating the conditions” will seek to answer the question of what are the conditions – as opposed to preconditions – that would accelerate the forward movement, while ‘building the framework’ will examine how we can create a process expressly devoted to establishment of a nuclear weapons-free world.”

The Framework Forum derives its name and founding principle from the statement in the Final Document of the 2010 Review Conference “affirm[ing] that all states need to make special efforts to establish the necessary framework to achieve and maintain a world without nuclear weapons.” This language draws from Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s five-point plan for disarmament that calls for the negotiation of a nuclear weapons convention or a “framework of separate, mutually reinforcing instruments.”

The topics of the Forum were divided into several categories – cooperative, common and strategic security, conditions for zero and building the Framework. Within these categories, various security models and arrangements were discussed, as well as the issue of “strategic balance” (including the issue of parity or reciprocity), effective governance, irreversibility, transparency, verification, process and strategy. The briefing paper provided a basis for the discussion and was frequently referred to by speakers. Three working groups discussed reducing the role of nuclear weapons in doctrine, regional security arrangements and missile defense.