Nuclear weapons pose an existential threat to humanity that is unmatched by any other contemporary threat in magnitude, gravity and urgency.

Consider the indicators of the high policy salience of the nuclear weapons challenge: the new START Treaty between Russia and the United States, President Barack Obama's speech in Berlin in June 2013, North Korea's third nuclear test in February 2013, tightening sanctions on Iran to compel it to abandon a suspected nuclear weaponization path, unresolved tensions between India and Pakistan, growing nuclear arsenals of China, India and Pakistan, and the fear of an act of nuclear terrorism that lies behind the series of past and forthcoming nuclear security summits.

The Asia-Pacific Leadership Network on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (APLN: is a group of about 40 people from 14 countries in Asia and the Pacific dedicated to halting then reversing the nuclear weapons drift. While most are former heads of government, Cabinet ministers, heads of departments and military forces, others are key opinion shapers and movers from the media, universities and civil society.