Weapons Proliferation Challenges International Institutions
Weapons Proliferation Remains Top Concern
From the Boston Marathon terror attacks to alleged use of chemical weapons use in Syria, Carol E. B. and Jamsheed K. Choksy assert the threats posed biological, chemical and nuclear weapons proliferation has never been more real.
While the existence or use of such weaponry is not a new development, the Choksy’s make the point that recent history has shown a disturbing trend in non-state actors, including Al Qaeda, acquiring them.
“During Syria’s civil war some sarin, mustard gas and cyanide from government depots reportedly have fallen into illicit hands. The possibility of Islamists wresting materials from Pakistan’s WMD facilities increases as that nation’s political instability grows. Iran for its part appears to have transferred some technologies to regional militant organizations such as Hamas and Hezbollah,” they write in Yale Global.
Grading International Efforts To Reduce Proliferation
In its recent Global Governance Score Card, the Council on Foreign Relations characterized global efforts to stem the proliferation of nuclear weapons as bearing “mixed results.”
While the report noted no nuclear powers had emerged between 2008 and 2012, it said efforts to enforce the Nonproliferation Treaty [NPT] pledges and UN Security Council resolution mandates by Iran had stalled and several nuclear weapons states had actually increased their arsenals.
Enforcement Of International Treaties Need Improvement
The report highlights the critical need for improvements to be made with regard to international enforcement mechanisms.
“No concrete efforts were undertaken to update the NPT, particularly in the 2010 review conference outcome document, which bodes ill for the future of the regime. The [Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty] lacked support from critical nuclear weapons states—China, North Korea, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, Pakistan, and the United States—and states with advanced nuclear capabilities. As of April 2012, 183 countries had signed the treaty, and 157 had ratified it,” the report notes.
According to the Choksy article, since 1925 there have been six conventions, two treaties, one protocol, one regime, one arrangement, one code, one initiative and ten regional or zone treaties instituted to stem the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, but most lack strong enforcement mechanisms.
France And China Pursue Goal Of Multipolar World
After a brief meeting, China’s President Xi Jinping and French President Francois Hollande are pledging to work towards a world political dynamic that is multipolar, governed by many, rather than one superpower.
‘‘China and France both want a multipolar world. We want there to be a balance. We refuse a world of powers, and of superpowers,’’ Hollande said. The trip to China is part of an ongoing effort by France to cement stronger ties between the two nations, according to Hollande aides.
Paul Jean-Ortiz, Hollande’s diplomatic adviser, said France intends to establish a closer, more solid strategic partnership with China in all major areas. “It is necessary for the world’s second-largest and fifth-largest economies to have direct and close relations based on mutual trust,” he said.
Former Obama Official: US Retains Important Leadership Role
Michele Flournoy, former Undersecretary of Defense for Policy in the Obama administration addressed the role of the US in a shifting global political dynamic.
“I am one who believes that the United States, as the sole superpower in the world, still has an indispensable leadership role to play. What it means to be a superpower in a more multilateral, more multipolar world is different. But the role is still unique. There’s really no other country that can lead the way we can, that convene — that can convene the way we can, that can put together international coalitions to solve shared problems the way we can. And I think it would be a shame to go into a period of greater retrenchment or isolationism in response to some of the budgetary pressures that we’re facing. So the leadership role remains.