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Shared Responsibilities for Nuclear Disarmament: A Global Debate

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The American Academy of Arts and Sciences has published a paper with seven essays from leading scholars invited to respond to Scott Sagan's concluding essay in the Fall 2009 special issue of Daedalus on the global nuclear future. The paper includes Scott's original essay and responses by James M. Acton, Jayantha Dhanapala, Mustafa Kibaroglu, Harald Muller, Yukio Satoh, Mohamed I. Shaker and Achilles Zaluar.

As Leslie Berlowitz, CEO of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, states in an excerpt from the paper's introduction:

"Renewed interest in arms control and restated commitments to the longterm goal of nuclear disarmament have clearly increased over recent years, most dramatically with President Barack Obama's April 2009 speech in Prague. With that change in focus comes an opportunity for the international community to rethink how Article VI of the NPT is traditionally interpreted and to move beyond the cycle of repeated complaints from the "have-nots" that the "haves" are not doing enough to disarm themselves and repeated retorts by the "haves" that they are already taking every step that is realistic or prudent. The promise of a different approach to the commitments made under the NPT forms the basis of the Scott Sagan's valuable article--"Shared Responsibilities for Nuclear Disarmament"...

"The differences in national perspectives and the differences in individual opinions about appropriate disarmament steps among the authors should not mask a commitment they all share. The contributors to this volume agree that new thinking and continued debate about how best to maintain momentum toward nuclear disarmament is to be welcomed. Only by seeking out, and taking into consideration, a cross section of views can progress toward the goal of a nuclear-weapons-free world continue...

"Their contributions serve to expand the discussion that was started by the original Daedalus article--and together they are intended to spark renewed policy debates about how best to pursue global disarmament, debates that will be prominent at the May 2010 NPT Review Conference in New York City and in the years following that important meeting."

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