The improved international security situation after the Cold War allowed for the dismantling of thousands of nuclear warheads. However, the disarmament curve flattened considerably. Today we are seeing countervailing trends.
New agreements now seem to be off the table and nuclear weapons risks are higher than at any time since the end of the Cold War. This is attributable to several factors, in particular the following:
- importance of nuclear weapons in light of the current global political situation;
- strategic rivalries among certain nuclear powers;
- the ongoing crisis of confidence among the major powers;
- the violation of existing arms control agreements;
- adjustments to strategies and doctrines;
- offensive training manoeuvres;
- modernisation and technological developments (e.g. cyberattacks and hypersonic weapons).
Switzerland is actively involved in all multilateral forums on nuclear disarmament. It cautions against a renewed arms race and supports confidence- and transparency-building measures. Every effort must be made to improve the starting position for further nuclear disarmament steps and to build bridges between stakeholders with differing security interests. To this end, Switzerland has adopted the following approaches and priorities: