NPT Roundtable: The Role of Umbrella States in Nuclear Disarmament

PragueVision Institute for Sustainable Security, Basel Peace Office and Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament cordially invite you to the NPT Review Conference side event “The Role of Umbrella States in Nuclear Disarmament”. The roundtable discussion will focus on the role of nuclear umbrella states in breaking the stalemate in multilateral disarmament negotiations and in lowering the role of nuclear weapons in nuclear alliances.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015
13:15 – 14:45 (lunch break)
Conference Room C, UN New York



  • Michiru Nishida, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
  • Michal Smetana, Charles University, Czech Republic
  • Erika Simpson, Western University, Canada


  • Jana Jedličková, PragueVision Institute, Czech Republic

How can nuclear umbrella states contribute to the achievement of a nuclear weapons free world?
Can they help break the deadlock in multilateral disarmament negotiations through further development of the “building blocks” approach?
Can they speed up nuclear disarmament through lowering the role of nuclear weapons in nuclear alliances?

The debate will be held under Chatham House rules. We invite delegations from umbrella states to engage in the discussion. The event is a part of preparatory work for a new policy paper “Leadership under the Umbrella” by the PragueVision Institute. Draft paper will be circulated at the event.

Michiru Nishida is Deputy Director and Special Assistant for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Issues at the Arms Control and Disarmament Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. Before this current assignment, he served from 2006 to 2011 as First Secretary to the Delegation of Japan to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, mainly in charge of nuclear issues as well as space security issues. He is also Visiting Associate Professor of Research Center for Nuclear Abolition (RECNA) of Nagasaki University.

Michal Smetana is a PhD. candidate in International Relations at the Charles University in Prague and Goethe University Frankfurt, and a Research Fellow at the Deutsch Security Square within the Institute of Political Studies. He is one of the main organizers of the annual Prague Agenda conference. His main research interests include nuclear non-proliferation, arms control and disarmament, nuclear policy and strategy, dynamics of international norms and regimes, deterrence theory, and coercive diplomacy. His new book co-edited with Nik Hynek titled Nuclear Disarmament: Strategic, Political and Regional Perspectives will be published by Routledge in late 2015.

Erika Simpson is an Associate Professor of International Relations in the Department of Political Science at Western University in London, Canada. Her principal research interests are in international security policies, nuclear proliferation, disarmament and arms control, and NATO policy. She is author of the book, NATO and the Bomb (McGill-Queen’s, 2001) and many book chapters, journal articles and op-eds. She is a frequent commentator on the media relating to nuclear proliferation, nuclear disarmament, NATO and Canadian defence policy. She is the past chair of the Canadian Pugwash Group.

Jana Jedličková is a co-founder and the chair of the PragueVision Institute for Sustainable Security, an independent Czech non-governmental organisation advocating practical steps towards a world without nuclear weapons. She also serves as the Central Europe Coordinator for Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament and she is a co-founder of UNFOLD ZERO – a platform to highlighting opportunities for progress in nuclear disarmament through the United Nations.