“All States need to make special efforts to establish the necessary framework to achieve and maintain a world without nuclear weapons.”
Excerpt from the Final Agreement of the 2010 Conference of States Parties to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT Review Conference)
The Framework Forum is an initiative of the Middle Powers Initiative and Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament to bring governments together in track-two meetings in order to build the framework for a nuclear weapons-free world.
The impetus for the Framework Forum comes from the 2010 NPT Review Conference, at which States parties agreed that ‘All States need to make special efforts to establish the necessary framework to achieve and maintain a world without nuclear weapons.’
The Framework Forum meetings aim to examine the legal, technical, political and institutional requirements to achieve a nuclear-weapons-free world, to determine which of these elements can be developed in the short-term by middle power governments, and to consider how middle power governments can move the nuclear-weapon-States to commence negotations for comprehensive nuclear disarmament.
The Framework Forum is built on the success of the Article VI Forum, led by the Middle Powers Initiative, which organised a series of track-two meetings of governments from 2005-2010 in order to build consensus on nuclear disarmament for the 2010 NPT Review Conference.
The Framework Forum was launched in May 2012 at a roundtable meeting in Vienna of more than 50 representatives from governments and NGOs, which was co-hosted by MPI and the Austrian government, and featured presentations from Angela Kane (the UN High Representative for Disarmament) and Ambassador Libran Cabactulan (the President of the 2010 NPT Review Conference).
A second meeting of the Framework Forum was held in New York in October 2012, hosted by the German Mission to the United Nations. 29 governments attended this session. The event fed into deliberations at the UN General Assembly on nuclear disarmament initiatives including on the establishment of a UN Open Ended Working Group in 2013 to take forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations.
The German Foreign Office then hosted a 2-day Framework Forum event in Berlin from Feb 21-22, 2013 entitled Creating the Conditions and Building the Framework for a Nuclear Weapons-Free World. Representatives from 26 governments, along with 15 leading parliamentarians, met with MPI experts in discussions guided by an MPI Briefing Paper prepared for the event.
From 2013 until 2016, substantive Framework Forum events were held in Geneva. These included:
- August 24, 2013: Opening the door to a nuclear-weapon-free world. Focused on implementation of the Report of the 2013 Open Ended Working Group on Taking Forward Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament Negotiations (OEWG);
- September 8, 2014: Building blocks and multilateral negotiations. Focused on proposals to start multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations and the forums in which these could take place. Guided by the MPI Briefing Paper: A Beacon of Hope;
- September 1, 2015: From the NPT to the UN General Assembly: Filling the legal gap to prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons. Focused on key proposals from the 2015 NPT Review Conference in May 2015, and proposals leading up to the UN General Assembly in October 2015;
- April 18, 2016: Issues and proposals for taking forward nuclear disarmament. Focused on issues and proposals being discussed at the 2016 OEWG and the Conference on Disarmament.
MPI panels were also organised at the United Nations in New York from 2013 until 2016, including:
- October 22, 2014: Using “Building Blocks” To Construct a World Free of Nuclear Weapons. Discussed the building blocks proposal, the elements that would be included as building blocks and their sequencing, and whether the approach was feasible to make progress.
Additional background documents:
- Building the Framework for a Nuclear Weapons-Free World: Laying Out the Map, Comments by Angela Kane, UN High Rep for Disarmament, Framework Forum meeting, 1 May 2012
- The role of middle power countries in building the framework for a nuclear-weapons-free world, Presentation by Ambassador Libran Cabactulan (President of the 2010 Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty) to the Framework Forum meeting 1 May 2012
- Creating the Conditions and Building the Framework for a Nuclear Weapons-Free World, Comments by Angela Kane, UN High Rep for Disarmament, Framework Forum meeting 10 October 2012
- Building a Framework for a Nuclear Weapons-Free World: Laying out the Map, MPI brief on the Framework Forum