The Potential Role of Arbitration In the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Regime - Vol. 10 No. 1 ARIA 1999
Edwin J. Nazario J.D., Columbia University School of Law, 1998; Associate, Chadbourne & Parke, Washington, D.C..
Originally from American Review of International Arbitration - ARIA
The Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (“NPT”), adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on June 12, 1968, is one of the most widely joined treaties in existence, with 185 countries as signatories. Originally the product of negotiations between the US and the former USSR, its chief goal is to prevent states that possess nuclear weapons from assisting other states in developing their own nuclear weapons. It also prohibits independent development of those weapons by non-nuclear weapon states. In addition, the NPT requires states that possess nuclear technology to assist other states in developing their own peaceful nuclear technology under international supervision. Indeed, the right of every state to benefit from peaceful atomic energy is recognized in the NPT and by its members.
However, the NPT is part of a greater collection of treaties known as the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Regime ("NPT Regime"). Recent events have raised concerns over the NPT Regime's abiliy to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Specifically, there are questions over the NPT Regime's ability to resolve disputes involving the obligations imposed by it. Thus, the focus of this Note is the potential utilization of arbitration as a means of settling disputes over the NPT Regime's obligations and improving its enforcement. It first focuses on why current mechanisms for resolving disputes, such as the International Court of Justice ("ICJ"), the United Nations Security Council ("UN Security Council") and the United Nations General Assembly ("UN General Assembly"), should not be the options of first choice. Furthermore, it explores the advantages and disadvantaes of an arbitration mechanism in such a context. Finally, various models of implementing such an arbitration mechanism are considered.