Article VI of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons requires each of the Parties to the Treaty, both Non-Nuclear-Weapon States (NNWS) and Nuclear-Weapon States (NWS), to pursue effective measures relating to nuclear arms control and disarmament under strict and effective international control. The establishment of effective verification measures will be an important precondition for fulfilling the goals of Article VI.
The UK-Norway Initiative (UKNI) is a first-of-its-type collaboration between a NWS and a NNWS which supports the aims of Article VI by investigating the technical and procedural challenges of verifying possible future nuclear disarmament and arms control agreements. Beginning in 2007 and still operating to this day, the UKNI has successfully demonstrated how states can cooperate in this important and politically-sensitive area.
PRINCIPAL OBJECTIVES FOR THE COLLABORATION
To create scenarios in which Norwegian and United Kingdom participants can explore issues relating to nuclear arms control verification without risking nuclear proliferation
To promote understanding between a NWS and a NNWS on the issues faced by the other party, particularly in relation to a nuclear weapon-related verification activities
To promote discussion on the practicalities of involving NNWS in a nuclear arms control verification process
The partnership consists of AWE, the Atomic Weapons Establishment, under the direction and supervision of the UK Ministry of Defence; the Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority (NRPA); NORSAR; the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI); and the Institute for Energy Technology (IFE), all acting under the direction of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The non-governmental organisation VERTIC also supported the collaboration in its early days, acting as independent observers, while King’s College London has been more recently involved in the organisation and analysis of the ‘Trust & Confidence’ student exercises.