The international community must reject the passive notion that more countries are unavoidably destined to acquire nuclear weapons, and instead must implement further measures to dissuade and deter non-nuclear weapon states from seeking such weapons, argues Visiting Scholar Pierre Goldschmidt in Priority Steps to Strengthen the Nonproliferation Regime, a new Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Policy Outlook.
Goldschmidt advocates that current Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) obligations already exist to deter nuclear weapons development, yet the international community must become more demanding in their enforcement. “The incapacity … over thirteen years to take any dissuasive measure against North Korea’s nuclear weapons program until it was too late has considerably undermined the nuclear nonproliferation regime,” he writes. “This weakness is the result of some nuclear weapon states choosing to delay or oppose reasonable enforcement measures.”
In addition to expanding and implementing the recommendations recently made by the Secretariat of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to its Board of Governors, Goldschmidt recommends the adoption of additional measures to better address circumstances of non-compliance with IAEA safeguards agreements. “The most effective, unbiased, and feasible way to establish a legal basis for the necessary verification measures in circumstances of non-compliance is for the United Nations Security Council to adopt a ‘generic’ (i.e., not state specific) and legally biding resolution stating that if a state is reported by the IAEA to be in non-compliance, a standard set of actions would result.”
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About the Author
Pierre Goldschmidt who is based in Brussels, is a visiting scholar in the Carnegie Endowment’s Nonproliferation Program. He is also a member of the Board of Directors for the Association Vinçotte Nuclear (AVN) – a NGO charged with verifying compliance of nuclear facilities with Belgian safety regulations. He previously served as the Deputy Director General, Head of the Department of Safeguards, at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) from 1999 to June 2005.