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Nuclear Risk Reduction: Friction Points

October 18, 2021

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Competitive dynamics between the United States and the Russian Federation, and the United States and China, colours interpretations of each other’s national security strategies and nuclear doctrines. The intent that each projects onto the other (for instance, around lowered thresholds of nuclear use, or the pursuit of escalation dominance) then filters into their readings of specific capabilities. Consequently, the “friction points” between them – the issues of contention that can spark potential conflict and escalation, including to nuclear use – are unfortunately numerous.

This side event to the UN First Committee will contribute to informed discussion on nuclear weapon risk reduction, considering ways that the ‘great powers’ can bridge strategic perception gaps (including through the ongoing Russia-US bilateral strategic stability dialogue).  Panelists will also discuss technological developments – including in other domains – that are increasing the risks of nuclear weapon use, as well as means to address these.

UNIDIR encourages the participation of representatives and experts interested in nuclear risk reduction, strategic stability, and related topics.


Anna Péczeli, Center for Global Security Research

Polina Sinovets, Odessa Center for Nonproliferation

Wilfred Wan, UNIDIR (moderator)


United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR)
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