International Institutions and Nuclear Proliferation: The Dependence on Nations

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The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) that took effect in 1968 was the landmark of international cooperation during the Cold War. As of 2015, there are 190 nations as parties to the treaty with four abstentions and one withdrawal. While the cooperative importance of this treaty cannot be understated, it is not the only International Institution that has a prominent place in the non-proliferation, disarmament and nuclear safety realm. The question isn’t whether these institutions are necessary in the international community, but how effective these Non-Governmental Organizations and institutions are in an international community dominated by sovereign nations. These institutions may have member states or they may be a transnational cooperative based on private/public funding and have obtained authority by its actions and/or the support of sovereign states. In order to argue the merits of this diverse range of NGOs and international institutions in nuclear non-proliferation, disarmament and safety, I will look at the NPT and briefly at its custodial body, the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA), the EU Non-Proliferation Consortium and finally the IAEA, or the International Atomic Energy Agency. In order to judge the effectiveness of these organizations, I will analyze their mandate, their operational flexibility and their authority in certain cases, such as the ongoing Syrian Crisis, the nuclear situation in Iran, and finally recent pressures in the Middle East with regards to the NPT, namely the relationship between Israel and nearby Arab states. The NPT has been the called the most binding non-proliferation agreement in existence and has influenced all national and interna... ... middle of paper ... ...-547. “About ISIS,” Institute for Science and International Security, accessed November 5, 2013, http://isis-online.org/about/. Patrick Migliorini et al., “Iranian Breakout Estimates, Updated September 2013,” Institute for Science and International Security, October 24, 2013, accessed November 5, 2013, http://isis-online.org/uploads/isis-reports/documents/Breakout_Study_Summary_24October2013.pdf: 1. Richard Engel and Robert Windrem, “Israel teams with terror group to kill Iran’s nuclear scientists, US officials tell NBC News,” NBC News, accessed November 4, 2013, http://rockcenter.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/02/09/10354553-israel-teams-with-terror-group-to-kill-irans-nuclear-scientists-us-officials-tell-nbc-news. Ian Johnstone, “US-UN Relations after Iraq: The End of the World (Order) As We Know It?” European Journal of International Law, 15(4) (2004): 814.

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