The Conference on Disarmament Agrees to Start Working: A Wake-up Call for ‘Sleeping Beauty’?

The Geneva-based Conference on Disarmament (CD) recently decided to start substantive work after failing to adopt a programme of work for two decades.

Is this the result of the adoption of the Treaty Prohibiting Nuclear Weapons and the attribution of the Nobel Peace Prize to the International Campaign to Ban Nuclear Weapons (ICAN)? Does this procedural decision imply more flexible positions on the part of some countries, including those possessing nuclear weapons? Is there any chance that the CD would commence serious negotiations about the items on its agenda? Expectations seem to remain modest in the Geneva disarmament community.

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