The Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI) cordially invites you to the seminar “The ban on nuclear weapons: Next Stop Vienna.” Ambassador Alexander Kmentt, President-designate of the First Meeting of States Parties to the TPNW, will offer his introductory remarks, followed by remarks from Målfrid Braut-Hegghammer (Professor at the University of Oslo and director of the Oslo Nuclear Project) and Henrik Stålhane Hiim (Associate professor at the Norwegian Institute for Defence Studies).

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) entered into force on 22 January 2021. It is the first international treaty that prohibits the possession, use, and stationing of nuclear weapons, along with other activities. The First Meeting of States Parties to the TPNW, where Norway will participate as an observer, will take place in Vienna, Austria this summer.

This seminar will address a series of topics concerning the TPNW, including its underlying arguments on the humanitarian consequences and risks of nuclear weapons, the need for inclusive dialogue on these issues, and the status of the preparations for the First Meeting of States Parties. These issues and the widely shared concerns about the risk of use of nuclear weapons have become even more topical in the context of the current conflict in Ukraine and the nuclear threats that have been made.

Alexander Kmentt is the President-designate of the First Meeting of States Parties to the TPNW, alongside his role as the Director of the Disarmament, Arms Control and Non-Proliferation Department of the Austrian Foreign Ministry. From 2016-19, Alexander Kmentt served as Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the Political and Security Committee of the EU. He has worked extensively on disarmament issues, including at the Conference on Disarmament and in the CTBTO in Vienna. He is one of the architects of the initiative on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons and the TPNW. He was responsible for the 2014 Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons for which he conceived the Humanitarian Pledge. This Pledge garnered the support of 135 States and paved the way for the 2017 TPNW. During a sabbatical in 2019-20 as Senior Research Fellow at King’s College London, he wrote the book The Treaty Prohibiting Nuclear Weapons: How it was achieved and why it matters (Routledge 2020).

The seminar will be moderated by Senior Research Fellow at NUPI, Sverre Lodgaard. It will take place at NUPI, but you can also follow us live on NUPI’s YouTube channel here. Unfortunately, there will not be made a recording of the webinar, so make sure to join us live!