Journal Article

A New Architecture for the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons

Jack I. Garvey

in Journal of Conflict and Security Law

Volume 12, issue 3, pages 339-357
Published in print January 2007 | ISSN: 1467-7954
Published online February 2008 | e-ISSN: 1467-7962 | DOI:
A New Architecture for the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons

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The new architecture for the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons proposed here is a mandatory regime under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, building upon the current consensual regime, but remedying its deficiencies. This article examines the operation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in relation to current nuclear policy dynamics, explaining why the treaty regime has become increasingly inadequate to meet the proliferation challenge, and even counter-productive. The recent confrontations over nuclear policy with Iran, Saddam Hussein's Iraq and North Korea are drawn upon as illustrations and support for the new architecture's foundation—a Security Council Resolution declaring nuclear weapons proliferation, whether generated by states or non-state actors, a threat to the peace. The new architecture, while integrating key elements of the present non-proliferation framework, would be prescriptive, not merely reactive and ad hoc, the difference arising from its basis in a statement of principle under Chapter VII of the Charter. The article explains how this would engage a design similar to post 9/11 anti-terrorism innovation in the Security Council to achieve a more promising dimension of deterrence, political legitimacy and effectiveness in negotiation of non-proliferation. The new architecture includes the so-called ‘targeted sanctions’, a new tool already proven meritorious for anti-terrorism and counter-proliferation efforts. In conclusion, the article evaluates evidence demonstrating that the necessary political will is available to achieve the proposed new architecture and frames the essential policy choice.

Journal Article.  8894 words. 

Subjects: Public International Law

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