INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENTS RELATED TO PROLIFERATION EXPLAINED
DAVID MUTIMER, Prof. Political Science York University, 2000, THE WEAPONS STATE: PROLIFERATION AND THE FRAMING OF SECURITY // VT2002 acs p. 4-6
In the years following the Gulf War and the Security Council's determination that proliferation constitutes a threat to peace and security, a remarkable amount of action has been taken in response to the threat posed by the potential development of weapon states through proliferation-although I defer judgment on the degree to which this action has been appropriate. In each area identified as a proliferation concern-nuclear, chemical, biological, and conventional weapons, as well as missile delivery systems-some attempt has been made to strengthen controls on the spread of technology related to the research for or production of such weapons. I summarize those developments briefly as follows.
The largest number of developments has concerned the strengthening of the nuclear nonproliferation regime. The NPT was extended indefinitely in 1995, and both France and the PRC joined in 1992. In 1996 a treaty banning the testing of nuclear weapons was opened for signature, and another, banning further production of fissile material for explosive purposes, was under negotiation in Geneva. The
IAEA reviewed its safeguard procedures and has begun to strengthen them so they should be less easily circumvented in the future.
A convention banning the production, transfer, and use of chemical weapons (the Chemical Weapons Convention [CWC]) has been negotiated, and it entered into force in 1997. The CWC also created an international inspectorate, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), to monitor commitments made under the CWC. The monitoring made possible by the CWC is perhaps the most extensive and intrusive ever established, as OPCW inspectors have the right to conduct inspections anywhere on the territory of states party to the CWC and can do so on very short notice. Finally, the Australia Group, a suppliers' group similar to the NSG, which had been formed in 1984 to coordinate export controls on chemical weapons technology, was greatly expanded.
Biological weapons had been banned by an international convention, the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC), in 1972. At the time, however, conventional wisdom held that biological weapons had little military value, so no provisions were included to monitor compliance with the BTWC. The states party have established a working group to prepare possible verification procedures, and they expect to approve a package of such procedures at a review conference scheduled for the year 2001. Earlier, the Australia Group had added controls over biological weapons technology to its initial concern with chemical weapons, and so the expansion of its membership also provides extended control on the supply of that technology.
The Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) began as a procedure to coordinate export controls on missile technologies among the members of the Group of Seven (G-7). With the articulation of missile technology to the new proliferation agenda, the membership of the MTCR has also greatly expanded and now stands at 29. One MTCR member, Canada, even suggested that the regime serve as the basis for a global convention-a CWC for missile technology. Nothing came of the suggestion, and it has been dropped.
Even conventional weapons have come to be seen as proliferation problems following the Gulf War, and a number of actions have been taken to prevent the spread of technologies related to conventional arms. In 1992 the UN General Assembly established a Register of Conventional Arms, calling on UN members to submit data annually on their transfers of major conventional weapons. A treaty modeled on the CWC has been negotiated banning the production and transfer of antipersonnel land mines. Finally, a new suppliers' group has been created by the Wassenaar Arrangement, which coordinates export controls on technologies related to conventional arms.