US nuclear weapons test at Bikini in 1946. Creator: US Government. Creative Commons License LogoThis image is licensed under Creative Commons License.


Tuesday, 10. October 2023 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm Save in my calendar


The Future of Nuclear Disarmament: Is Global Zero Still Possible?

Amidst Russia’s war in Ukraine and the willingness of governments to increase military spending also for their nuclear arsenals, discussions around nuclear weapons as security guarantors are gaining momentum: Since the beginning of the war, for the first time, a majority of Germans is in favor of US nuclear weapons stationed in Germany. The movie Oppenheimer, telling the story of the “father of the atomic bomb”, is already considered as one of the most successful movies covering the Second World War - and it does not cover the humanitarian and ecological consequences of survivors of the use or testing of nuclear weapons. In mid-August, the first session of the Preparatory Committee Meeting for the 2026 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) came to an end – with State Parties even struggling to agree on a summary of what was discussed. With public support of nuclear weapons increasing and governments unwilling to discuss nuclear disarmament, the idea of Global Zero seems further away than in a long time.

At the same time, survivors of the use or testing of nuclear weapons and activists committed to nuclear disarmament are unwilling to give up - and are looking for new opportunities to advance international nuclear disarmament. One avenue clearly represents Feminist Foreign Policy, a concept which more and more states are committing. Shifting the focus from state security to the security of the most marginalized communities and individuals, the concept calls for the focus on the humanitarian and ecological consequences of nuclear weapons. For example, in March 2023, the German Federal Foreign Office introduced its Feminist Foreign Policy Guidelines which among many topics covers the commitment to “support efforts to recognise and compensate the victims of nuclear tests” advocating for a safe world without nuclear weapons.

Against this background, and ahead of the Second State Meeting of State Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, the Centre for Feminist Foreign Policy and the Heinrich-Böll-Foundation are organising the public discussion on The Future of Nuclear Disarmament: Is Global Zero Still Possible?, which aims to foster a conversation about the need and opportunities for nuclear disarmament during a period of increased nuclear war risk, primarily stemming from the conflict initiated by Russia, a nuclear-armed nation, which has persistently conveyed threats of nuclear weapon use. Further, the event will centre the humanitarian and ecological consequences of nuclear weapons and discuss potential new avenues to nuclear disarmament, including the concept of Feminist Foreign Policy. The event will bring together researchers on the humanitarian and ecological consequences of nuclear weapons, survivors, and German policy decision-makers.

Please note that the event will be conducted in English. No translation will be provided. 


6 pm: Opening Remarks
Jan Philipp Albrecht, (President Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung) and Nina Bernarding (Co-Founder of the Centre for Feminist Foreign Policy)

6:10 pm: Keynote
A video message from Izumi Nakamitsu (UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, Office for Disarmament Affairs (ODA)) TBC

6:15 pm: Keynote: The true costs of nuclear weapons
Benetick Kabua Maddison (Executive Director, Marshallese Educational Initiative (MEI), United States)

6.20 - 7:30 pm: Panel discussion, including Q&A
Title: The Future of Nuclear Disarmament: Is Global Zero Still Possible?


  • Aigerim Seitenova (Project Manager CFFP, nuclear disarmament activist, Kazakhstan)
  • William Alberque (Director of Strategy, Technology and Arms Control, International Institute for Strategic Studies) 
  • Merle Spellerberg (Member of Bundestag, Alliance 90/The Greens) 

Facilitator: Giorgio Franceschini (Head of Foreign and Security Policy Division, Heinrich Böll Foundation)

7.30-8.00 pm: Reception

Milena Grünewald (Project Officer, Heinrich Böll Foundation)

» Participation on site
at the the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung Conference Center, Schumannstr. 8, 10117 Berlin

Please register. Unfortunately, the number of seats is limited. Should the room capacity be exhausted, we will transmit the conference via video to other rooms. We would like to point out that there is no entitlement to a seat in the room.

Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung - Headquarter Berlin
Schumannstr. 8
10117 Berlin
Heinrich Böll Foundation - Headquarters Berlin