A New Architecture for the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons

Posted: 23 Jun 2008

See all articles by Jack I. Garvey

Jack I. Garvey

University of San Francisco - School of Law

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: December 31, 2007


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.

Keywords: nuclear weapons, Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, United Nations, United Nations Charter Chapter VII, targeted sanctions, international law

Suggested Citation

Garvey, Jack I., A New Architecture for the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (December 31, 2007). Journal of Conflict and Security Law, Vol. 12, No. 3, pp. 339-357, 2007, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1149875

Jack I. Garvey (Contact Author)

University of San Francisco - School of Law ( email )

2130 Fulton Street
San Francisco, CA 94117
United States

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