IPU Assembly Roundtable

Eliminating risks of nuclear war by accident, cyber-attack or conflict escalation

Eliminating risks of nuclear war by accident, cyber-attack or conflict escalation

15:00 – 16:30
Room 309, National Convention Centre

New risks of nuclear weapons use are emerging due to conflicts involving nuclear-armed States, cyber-vulnerabilities and weapons systems maintained on high operational readiness. What roles can parliamentarians play to reduce and eliminate these risks?

Wednesday, April 1, 2015 | Hanoi, Vietnam

The threat of full-scale nuclear war between the super-powers faded at the end of the Cold War.

However, additional risks of nuclear weapons use have arisen as a result of emerging conflicts involving nuclear-armed States, possibilities of cyber-warfare involving infiltration of nuclear command systems, reliance on computer and cyber systems with nuclear weapons on hair-trigger alert, and new roles for nuclear weapons to respond to cyber-attacks.

The 132nd IPU Assembly is considering a draft resolution entitled Cyber warfare: A serious threat to peace and global security. The intersection of cyber-threats and nuclear weapons gives rise to specific security concerns that require consideration and action by parliaments.

This workshop will therefore cover policy options to reduce or eliminate:

  • Nuclear threats from accident or miscalculation;
  • The risks of nuclear weapons use in regional conflicts;
  • Cyber-attacks involving nuclear weapons command and control systems;
  • Reliance on nuclear deterrence in response to cyber-warfare.

Presentations will be brief in order to provide sufficient time for questions, comments or other interventions by delegations.

For more information contact info@pnnd.org


Concern by governments at the increasing risks from nuclear weapons use has stimulated a series of conferences on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons use.

The 130th IPU Assembly adopted a resolution entitled Towards a nuclear-weapon-free world: The contribution of parliaments, which, noted that 'any use of nuclear weapons, whether by accident, miscalculation or intent, would have devastating humanitarian and environmental consequences,’ affirmed ‘the key role of parliaments and parliamentarians in addressing nuclear risks’ and encouraged parliaments ‘to work with their governments in the pursuit of confidence-building measures, including by eliminating the role of nuclear weapons in security doctrines and policies’ in order to build ‘the legislative and political framework needed to achieve a nuclear-weapon-free world.

IPU and PNND have organised workshops and sessions at various IPU Assemblies exploring how parliamentarians can further nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament objectives.

IPU and PNND have published a Parliamentary Handbook on Supporting Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament to further assist parliamentarians and parliaments to take effective action. The Handbook is currently available in English, French, Spanish and Russian and has been made available to all parliaments in the world.

The roundtable on April 1 is a continuation of this work by IPU and PNND to inform and engage parliamentarians in this vital issue for human security.