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Topic Area B: Establishment and Reformation of Nuclear Weapon Free Zones Statement of the Problem Of all the problems that the international community faces, few are more important than the issues associated with the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Nuclear Weapon Free Zones (NWFZs), loosely defined as zones that multiple nations agree to keep free of nuclear weapons, provide a powerful tool for the international community in preventing nuclear proliferation in that they eliminate the incentive for a Non-Nuclear Weapon State (NNWS) to develop nuclear weapons based on a perceived nuclear threat from a Nuclear Weapon State (NWS) neighbor. Unfortunately, many of the regions of the world that stand to gain the most from NWFZs are not contained within such zones or do recognize them.


must therefore find a way to facilitate

the development of new NFWZs while at the same time strengthening those that already exist. Nuclear Weapon Free Zones and other means to nuclear non-proliferation are fundamentally important because of the enormous destructive potential of nuclear devices and weapons. While small nations are often limited in their ability to utilize conventional arms by the size of their military forces, no such restrictions exist in the case of nuclear weapons; a small nation in the possession of a nuclear weapon or device and some delivery mechanism is capable of causing every bit as much devastation as a similarly equipped nation many times its size. Moreover, a nuclear retaliation can occur much more quickly than a conventional one. While a conventional response to an attack requires the deployment of troops and the coordination of various military branches, a nuclear response requires only the push of a button, and in fact can be made to require not even that. This combination of high speed and equal usability for nuclear

2 weapons among nations is a deadly combination in that it allows for nuclear warfare to break out between two smaller nations and rapidly spread. In addition, the destruction caused even by lower-yield weapons is tremendous. For example, the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima by the United States in Second World War had a yield of twenty kilotons – small by today’s standards – yet killed an estimated 135,000 people. 1 In contrast, the largest bombs produced in the cold war had yields peaking at fifty megatons, 2,500 times that of the Hiroshima bomb. 2 In order to understand how NWFZs function, it is necessary to understand the basic elements of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). This treaty divides the nations of the world into Nuclear Weapon States and Non-Nuclear Weapon States. The basic treaty obligation of Nuclear-Weapons States is to provide Non-Nuclear Weapon States with neither nuclear arms, nor the information necessary to build one. 3 The obligations of Non-Nuclear Weapon States are to neither attempt to build a nuclear weapon, nor to try to acquire one or the information needed to build one from a Nuclear Weapon State.4 Importantly, the NPT mandates no restrictions on nuclear material used for the purpose of power generation. 5 In order to confirm their status as Non-Nuclear Power Nations, such nations must agree to safeguard inspection measures by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which is charged with ensured that the nation is not attempting to produce a nuclear weapon covertly. 6 Nuclear Weapon Free Zones are in essence a refinement of the NPT in that they include more restrictions than the NPT does by itself. Individual NWFZs are established by specific treaties, and are usually facilitated and enforced by a regional organization. Most importantly, a 1

Atomic Archive, “The Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki,” 2 Nuclear Weapon Archive, “The Tsar Bomba,” 3 United Nations, “Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT),” 4 Ibid. 5 Ibid. 6 Ibid.


requires that no nuclear weapons are contained within it. This applies to both Nuclear

Weapon States and Non-Nuclear Weapons States. It therefore follows that if a portion of a Nuclear Weapon State falls within a NWFZ, then that nation must have no nuclear weapons deployed there. Another defining factor of NWFZ is that Nuclear Weapons States must agree to not use nuclear weapons against nations falling within the zone, or against territories of nations falling within the zone. 7 In this sense NWFZs provide Non-Nuclear Weapons states with an incentive not to produce nuclear weapons that the NPT does not provide by itself. Inclusion within a NWFZ governed by a given regional body is strictly voluntary, and all such zones that have been established up until this point have been formed by independent treaties. In theory, NWFZs contain all the provisions necessary for allowing a region to ignore the concerns of acquiring and defending against nuclear arms. In practice, however, there are several problems that prevent these zones from functioning as effectively as they could. One recent problem confronting NWFZs, as well as the NPT more generally, are charges of ineffectiveness on the part of the International Atomic Energy Agency. In particular, the United States has argued that the IAEA's inability to contain nuclear programs in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and the Republic of Iran, despite the fact that both countries have been signatories of the NPT, points to problems within the agency. 8 Any ineffectiveness on the part of the IAEA suggests that nations attempting to acquire nuclear weapons have no reason not to join the NPT or a NWFZ in that they can enjoy all the benefits of participation without being caught. Since participation in NWFZs is often based on the assumption of truthfulness on the part of other participant nations, a failure to correct any problems in the IAEA, if there are any, could threaten


International Atomic Energy Association, “Nuclear-Weapon-Free-Zones: Pursuing Security, Region by Region�, 8 Yahoo! World News, "U.N. nuke chief ElBaradei heads to S.Korea, Japan,"

4 the existence of current NWFZs and suppress the possibility of new ones emerging.

DISEC should

investigate the deficiencies of the IAEA Another concern inhibiting the creation of new NWFZs is the fact that certain nuclear weapon delivery mechanisms, such as intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) have virtually unlimited range. A delivery mechanism for a nuclear weapon is the means by which the weapon is transported from its storage site to its place of intended detonation. A nation’s containment within a properly inspected NWFZ may eliminate the nuclear threat posed by geographically close neighbors. The presence of long-range delivery mechanisms suggests, however, that a nation is still vulnerable to a nuclear attack initiated by a nation outside of the zone that is either a nonmember of the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty, or which does not recognize the nuclear free zone. India, for example, has cited this argument as one of the chief reasons for its opposition to the establishment of a Nuclear Free Zone in South Asia (along with the more palpable reason that both it and Pakistan possess nuclear weapons and that the nations are at odds with one another). In order to allay these concerns and establish NWFZs in more challenging regions of the world, action must somehow be coordinated between the members of a proposed NWFZ, and distinct regions that are deemed to be a threat to some member within the zone. In one sense, the fact that NWFZs are defined by a geographic region is arbitrary in that sophisticated nuclear delivery mechanisms eliminate the protection of distance. It is generally the case, however, that nuclear tensions tend to be the greatest on a regional level, suggesting that NWFZs are still strategically significant. Moreover, delivery mechanisms such as intercontinental ballistic missiles are possessed by a very small group of nations. Furthermore, nations that develop nuclear weapons often do not acquire the capability to strike distant targets until some time has passed. This is

5 particularly the case for developing nations with nuclear weapons, in that while nuclear warheads are easily transferable, delivery mechanisms are not as easily spread. Another concern that hinders the establishment of nuclear weapon free zones is the unease often generated by unclear borders between a nation’s nuclear weapons program, which is prohibited under the NPT for Non-Nuclear Weapon States and by NWFZs, and the use of fissile material for power generation, which is prohibited by neither. For example, there are nuclear power plants in South America despite the fact that the entire continent is contained within a NWFZ.


Yet, certain types of nuclear power plants are relatively easy to modify so as to facilitate

to creation of nuclear weapons. 10 Currently, nuclear reactors fall into the categories of lightwater reactors and heavy-water reactors, which use normal water and the compound deuterium respectively in their operation. 11 While one reactor type can be modified into another type, generally speaking light-water reactors are less useful in acquiring nuclear weapons in that they are less capable of producing weapons-grade material from raw uranium. 12 The generation of power, however, is considered to be an issue of national sovereignty because it is primarily a domestic issue. As such, neither form of reactor is explicitly prohibited under the NonProliferation Treaty or under the treaties establishing various Nuclear Weapon Free Zones. It is possible, however, that placing a limitation on nuclear power generation in a given NWFZ may increase its credibility and thereby participation in that nations contained within the zone cannot attempt to produce weapons under the guise of power-generation. At the same time, nuclear power plants are extremely effective in generating power, and a given nation may not want to limit itself by joining a treaty that places restrictions on power generation. In attempting to 9

Center for Middle East Studies, “Regional Safeguards in Latin America: Implications for the Middle East?,” 10 Federation of Atomic Scientists, “Plutonium Production,” 11 Ibid. 12 Ibid.

6 increase the number and effectiveness of NWFZs in the world, the committee must find a balance between these two considerations that maximizes credible participation. An even greater problem for the establishment of new Nuclear Weapons Free Zones than that posed by the duel use of nuclear material is that a single Nuclear Weapon Nation, or pair of opposed such nations, can hinder attempts to create a NWFZ for an entire region. One example of this is Israel, a non-member of the NPT that is thought to possess nuclear weapons. On one hand, it is not feasible to establish a nuclear free zone in the Middle East that contains Israel because doing so would require that Israel disarm its nuclear weapons, something that it is highly unlikely to do given its unwillingness to sign the NPT. 13 At the same time, the Arab nations in the region would be unwilling to agree to a Nuclear Weapon Free Zone that includes nations in the Middle East except Israel, feeling that strategic limitations of not being able to respond to Israel would outweigh the benefits of preventing an arms race between other nations in the region. 14 The suspected nuclear weapon ambitions of Iran create a similar situation to the east. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, which withdrew from the NPT in 2003, has a hindering effect in establishing a NWFZ in North-East Asia. 15 The case of Africa provides one example in which the halted nuclear weapon ambitions of a single nation affected the entire region. Until 1991, South Africa was the only nation on the continent seeking nuclear weapons, which prevented the establishment of NWFZ in the region. After its shift in policy in joining the NPT

as a Non-Nuclear Weapon States, the rate of progress in the region towards establishing such

a zone increased dramatically culminating in the creation of the Treaty of Pelindaba, which calls


International Atomic Energy Agency, “Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT),” 14 United Nations, "Middle East Proliferation Highlighted, as Disarmament Committee Continues General Debate," 15 Ibid.

7 for an NWFZ for the entire continent. While this treaty has yet to be ratified by all nations on the continent, no African nations are currently believed to be seeking nuclear weapons. 16 Perhaps as great as the problem of a single nuclear nation thwarting the prospects of a NWFZ

are the complications posed by political tensions on a regional level. In the Middle East,

for example, the implementation difficulties posed by Iran and Israel are compounded by general instability in the region and tension between individual nations. Most nations are hesitant to enter into a NWFZ arrangement for fear of ceding a potential advantage should they ever attempt to gain nuclear weapons. In regions in which NWFZs are already established, such as Central and South America under the Treaty of Tlatelolco, political tensions between nations pose one of the greater threats to zone stability. This is based on the fact that nations that feel threatened and who feel that they are insufficiently armed conventionally are more likely to seek nuclear weapons as a mean of deterrence. In this regard, the issue of establishing and maintaining Nuclear Weapon Free Zones is closely linked to the conventional military realities for a given region. In conclusion, DISEC must find a way to aid in the creation of new NWFZs while strengthening those that are already in existence. Often, action that is helpful for achieving one of these goals might be detrimental to achieving the other. The Disarmament Committee faces the problem of finding a balance between these two aims, and, if it can, devising a solution that makes NWFZs both more attractive for nations to join and more effective in curbing the spread of nuclear arms.


African Union, “United Nations, “Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT),”


History of the Problem

The danger of nuclear proliferation, which Nuclear Weapon Free Zones seek to curb, has been a topic of debate since the development of nuclear weapons themselves. 17 The international community came to formally recognize the threat of nuclear proliferation shortly after their use by the United States in the Second World War. Indeed, the first resolution to be passed in the General Assembly in 1946 was entitled, “Establishment of a Commission to Deal with the Problems Raised by the Discovery of Atomic Energy,” and immediately acknowledged the problems of nuclear proliferation. 18 Soon after the United States’ development of nuclear weapons, the Soviet Union developed its own atomic bomb in 1949, signaling the start of the nuclear aspect of the Cold War and an arms race marked by enormous political tension. 19 Following this nuclear test, codenamed by the Soviets RDS-1 for Reaktivnyi Dvigatel Stalina, or, Stalin’s Rocket Engine, Americans were forced to consider the possibility of being hit by the same devestation that was unleashed on Japan several years earlier. Moreover, the new sitatuation of having two opposed powers, both with nuclear weapons, implied that no country could claim to be entirely safe from the threat of nuclear destruction. The world also faced the new idea of nuclear war. In the case of World War II, two nuclear weapons were sufficient to cause Japan to surrender. If Japan had nuclear weapons like the United States did, however, it is likely that far more than two weapons would have detonated on each side. While the membership of the “Nuclear Club” continued to grow following RDS-1, the world also began to devise ways of averting nuclear conflict. By the early 1960’s the nations 17

Sagan, Scott D. and Kenneth N. Waltz, The Spread of Nulcear Weapons, 3-7. United Nations General Assembly, “Establishment of a Commission to Deal with the Problems Raised by the Discovery of Atomic Energy”. A/1/1 1946. 19 Nuclear Files, “Timeline,” 18

9 possessing nuclear weapons had grown to include France, the United Kingdom, and the People’s Republic of China, each allied to one of the original two nuclear powers. 20 Following the brush with nuclear conflict during the Cuban Missile Crisis involving the United States and the USSR, the two superpowers engaged in talks designed to limit the nuclear arsenal of each. 21 Formal negation took the form of the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT I), held in Helsinki, Finland in 1969. 22 These talks were designed to limit both nuclear weapon production, as well as the production of ballistic missiles used as delivery mechanisms. 23 The Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, which resulted from SALT I, placed limitations on the production of the latter 24 . A second round of talks, SALT II, occurred ten years after the first, and resulted in a planned agreement to reduce strategic missile launchers. 25 Following the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan in the same year, however, the United States failed to adopt the agreement of the talks in retaliation, leading to further arms development. 26 In 1970, however, new progress was made when the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty entered into force, signed by the five nations that possessed nuclear arms at the time: the United States, the Soviet Union, France, the United Kingdom, and the Peoples’ Republic of China. 27 As discussed earlier, the basic provisions of the NPT are that the Nuclear Weapon States may not attempt to transfer nuclear weapons or technology to Non-Nuclear Weapon States, which make up Article I. 28 Likewise, under Article II, a Non-Nuclear Weapon state may not attempt to


Ibid. United States Department of State, “Strategic Nuclear Weapons,” 22 Ibid. 23 Ibid. 24 Ibid. 25 Ibid. 26 Ibid. 27 United Nations, “Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT),” 28 Ibid. 21

10 construct a nuclear weapon or acquire one from a Nuclear Weapon State, and also, under Article II, must consent to safeguard investigation measures conducted by the IAEA designed to confirm Non-Nuclear Weapon State status. 29 Articles V specifically states that “potential benefits from any peaceful applications of nuclear explosions will be made available to non-nuclear-weapon States Party to the Treaty on a nondiscriminatory basis,” that is, that the treaty places no restrictions on the use of nuclear power plants. 30 Finally, Article VII notes “the right of any group of States to conclude regional treaties in order to assure the total absence of nuclear weapons in their respective territories”. 31 It is Article VII that effectively establishes the concept of a Nuclear Weapon Free Zone. The incorporation of this article suggests that the NPT was not created as an all-encompassing solution to nuclear proliferation. Furthermore, it suggests that the ban of all nuclear arms within a NWFZ is desirable when possible. In this way, NPT lays out the framework for the more recent action of the Disarmament Committee and regional bodies.

Past Action of the Committee

While the Disarmament Committee of the General Assembly has never established Nuclear Weapon Free Zones or imposed definitions of the zones directly, the body has been a driving force the negotiation that have lead to these zones. Each of the NWFZs presently in existence have been debated in the First Committee of the General Assembly prior to being placed into force. Therefore, past action of the committee regarding Nuclear Weapon Free Zones mirrors the history surrounding the development of those NWFZs.


Ibid. Ibid. 31 Ibid. 30

11 Two of the six NWFZs currently in existence, in Antarctica and South America, in fact predate the enactment of the NPT. The first technical NWFZ came into existence with the Antarctic Treaty of 1959, which among other provisions prohibits the deployment of nuclear weapons onto the continent as well as the disposal of nuclear waste there. 32 The oldest NWFZ pertaining to an inhabited area, however, came into effect with the Treaty of Tlatelolco, which was enacted in 1969. 33 The treaty includes all nations within Latin America and the Caribbean. 34 Currently, the Treaty of Tlathelolco has been signed by every nation in the region and gained enforcement with Cuba’s ratification of the Treaty in 2002. 35 The Treaty was authored by The Agency for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (OPINAL), which currently oversees its enforcement. 36 There are two measures specific to the Tlathelolco Treaty. First, those nations that are responsible for territories in the zone, either de facto or de jure must apply to treaty to their respective such territories. 37 Second, the treaty provides a negative security assurance in that Nuclear Weapons States agree in it to not use nuclear weapons against any nation or territory falling within the region. 38 The Treaty of Raratonga formed the next major NWFZ upon its establishment in 1986. 39 The zone contains most of the South Pacific and the nations contained within it. Like the Treaty of Tlathelolco, it includes provisions both for territories of nations not in NWFZ, as well as 32

Center for International Earth Science Information Network, “Antarctic Treaty,” 33 The Agency for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean, “Treaty of Tlatelolco,”'The%20Treaty%20of%20Tlatelol co%20for%20Latin%20America%20and%20the%20Caribbean' 34 Ibid. 35 The Lawyers’ Committee on Nuclear Disarmament, “Strengthening Existing Nuclear Weapon Free Zones,” 36 The Agency for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean, “Treaty of Tlatelolco,”'The%20Treaty%20of%20Tlatelol co%20for%20Latin%20America%20and%20the%20Caribbean' 37 Ibid. 38 Ibid. 39 Environmental Treaties and Resource Indicators, “South Pacific Nuclear-Free Zone Treaty,”

12 negative security assurances on the part of Nuclear Weapon States. 40 In addition, it explicitly prohibits nuclear tests conducted in the region on the part of any nation, regardless of whether or not it holds territory in the region. 41 This clause was more important than one in the Tlathelolco in that the large amount of ocean in the region had traditional provided a good area for nuclear tests that was used by France, among other nations. 42 The treaty has been signed an ratified by all nations in the region except Palau and the Marshall Islands Republic, each of which is consider to pose a very low threat of nuclear proliferation. 43 The lack of political tension among states in the region makes the South Pacific NWFZ among the most stable. The three more recent Nuclear Weapon Free Zones were formed by the Treaties of Bangkok, Pelindaba, and Mongolia. 44 The Treaty of Bangkok, ratified in Bangkok on 15 December 1995 contains the eleven member of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), and, as with all other


includes the provision that no Nuclear Weapons States

that is a party to the NPT with use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against states within the zone. 45 Since no Nuclear Weapon State controls territory within the region, however, no provision is necessary for prohibiting these states from storing weapons within the zone. 46 The Treaty of Bangkok provides and excellent example of how region organization can help to implement new Nuclear Weapon Free Zones in conjunction with the international community on the whole as represented in DISEC.


Ibid. Ibid. 42 Federation of America Scientists, “McNamara: Treaty of Roratonga, French Nuclear Testing,” 43 OPANAL, “Status of the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone Treaty,” 44 The Agency for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean, “Nuclear Weapon Free Zones Around the World,”'s.htm. 45 OPANAL, “South Asian Nuclear Weapon Free Zone, Treaty of Bangkok,” 46 Ibid. 41

13 The next treaty establishing a Nuclear Weapon Free Zone, the Treaty of Pelindaba, is extremely significant in that it contains the entire continent of Africa as well as more nations within it than any other NWFZ. The unwillingness of South Africa to become a member of the Non-Proliferation Treaty up until 1991 made the prospect of a Nuclear Weapons Free Zone containing the African continent seem unlikely in that other African states did not want to be in a strategic situation where South Africa alone possessed nuclear weapons. 47 Following South Africa’s abandonment of its nuclear ambitions, however, action was quickly taken to establish a NWFZ in

the region. 48 The efforts came to fruition on 16 April, 1996, when the Treaty of

Pelindaba, named for a South African nuclear arms facility whose products were voluntarily dismantled, was opened for signature in Cairo, Egypt. 49 The final Nuclear Weapon Free Zone in existence is the most unusual of the six in that it contains only one nation, Mongolia. Therefore, rather than being established by a treaty between nations, the Mongolian NWFZ was instead established as a domestic law, with the nation working independently to gain recognition for zone among Nuclear Weapon States. 50 Mongolia’s rationale for establishing a NWFZ is based on the precarious position between the rival state of China and the Soviet that the nation endured during the Cold War. 51 The Mongolian NWFZ is significant both in that it demonstrates that a single nation can form a Nuclear Weapon Free Zone, provided that the zone is recognized by Nuclear Weapon States, and that it could provide the impetus for a broader Central Asian NWFZ, which does not currently exist.52


OPANAL, “African Nuclear Weapon Free Zone, Treaty of Pelindaba,” 48 Ibid. 49 Ibid. 50 OPANAL, “Mongolia’s Nuclear Weapon Free Status,” 51 Ibid. 52 Ibid.


Possible Solutions

In attempting to strengthen the influence of Nuclear Weapon Free Zones, possible solutions will either aim at creating new Nuclear Weapon Free Zones, or at increasing the effectiveness of those that already exist. The approach of DISEC in the past has been to foster the creation of new NWFZs while keeping the requirement and benefits behind them more or less the same. If the committee continues this approach, than possible solutions would focus on major regions of the world for which Nuclear Weapon Free Zones still do not exist, including Eastern Europe, Central Asia, South Asia, the Korean Pennisula, and the Middle East. This list however, is not accidental; those regions without NWFZs are the ones where establishing such has proven to be the most problematic. With the exception of Central Asia, where talks of establishing a NWFZ have progressed significantly in recent years, all of these regions face significant roadblocks to the establishment of Nuclear Weapon Free Zones. In the case of North Korea, agreements resembling NWFZs have broken down because North Korea’s claims of not seeking nuclear arms have turned out to be unreliable. In the other regions mentioned, political tensions impede further progress, for example between India and Pakistan in South Asia, and between different Arab states and Israel in the Middle East. 53 In attempting to deal with problems posed by specific conflicts, the committee can seek to coordinate with regional bodies, for example the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the European Union (EU) for Europe and the League of Arab States for the Middle East. Ultimately solutions will either have to increase dialogue with those nations that have impedes the development of NWFZs and address them on a


Art, Robert J. and Robert Jarvis, International Politics: Enduring Concepts and Contemporary Issues, 251-273

15 case by case basis or attempt to create NWFZs that are agreeable even with the participation of those nations. Given the challenges of establishing new NWFZs, DISEC should consider not only solutions that aim to implement NWFZs in the same form as those that already exist, but also approaches that alter the provisions and requirements of NWFZs to make them either more attractive or more effective in prevent proliferation. One possible solution that would make Nuclear Weapon Free Zones more effective, for example, would be to encourage more rigorous safeguard measures by the International Atomic Energy Agency. If such a solution were to be adopted by the committee and implemented by the IAEA, the credibility of nations within Nuclear Weapon Free Zones would rise, yet the zone would be less attractive to join. A similar type of solution would be for NWFZs to restrict nuclear power generators to forms that can not easily be modified so as to produce weapons-grade nuclear material. In contrast, a possible solution that would make NWFZs

more attractive would be to provide those nations within them not only negative, but

positive security assurances from Nuclear Weapon States, that is, a guarantee of defense if the zone should be attacked by nuclear weapons. This sort of solution is likely to be very attractive to those within the zone but potentially unattractive for Nuclear Weapon States to agree to. Nevertheless, informal such arrangements exist today; for example, even though Japan does not possess nuclear weapon and does not seek to acquire them, the nation has an understanding that the United States will retaliate on its behalf should it be attacked by nuclear weapons. Such an approach may work well in Central and Eastern Europe in coordination with NATO.

Bloc Positions

16 As is often the case with security issues, a nation’s geographic location can be a misleading indicator of its position. For example, China, South Korea, North Korea, and Japan are geographically close to one another, yet the four nations have very different positions. China is a Nuclear Weapon State under the NPT, North Korea withdrew from the NPT in 2003 and claims to possess nuclear weapons, South Korea is a Non-Nuclear Weapon State under the NPT but has been investigated by IAEA for possible violations in the past, and Japan is a Non-Nuclear Weapon State that has the technological base to develop nuclear weapons, but has not done so. 54 The three most important issues to be considered in determining a nation’s policy are the nation’s history with a nuclear weapons program, the nation’s status as a Nuclear Weapon State, Non-Nuclear Weapon State, or non-member under the NPT, and the nation’s status as either a signatory, ratifying member, or non-member of a current NWFZs. Based on these factors, general positions can be assigned.

Nuclear Weapon States (United States, United Kingdom, France, Russia, and China) The members of the Non-proliferation treaty that possess nuclear weapons, consisting of the permanent members of the Security Council, are eager to see the introduction of new Nuclear Weapon Free Zones. Each of these nations is willing to provide negative security provisions to NWFZs

provided that they the feel the zone is credible; that is, they guarantee that they will not

use nuclear weapon against states within NWFZs. Despite their support of new NWFZs, the Nuclear Weapon States have not significantly reduced their stockpiles of nuclear weapons as the NPT calls

for, with the United States and Russian still possessing thousands of nuclear weapons

each. While these nations may have strong ties to nations not currently in the NPT, they are


Center for Nonproliferation Studies, South Korea’s Nuclear Experiments,”

17 strongly opposed to additional proliferation of nuclear weapons, and will seek to make NWFZs as effective as possible while still being agreeable to those within them.

Ratifying Nations in NWFZs These nations, most of which fall within South America, Africa, and the South Pacific are generally satisfied with Nuclear Weapon Free Zones in their current form and will try to promote the establishment of new zones as well as the ratification of zones by members contained within them that have not done so. These nations may reluctant, however, to accept additional requirement by the IAEA unless they are convinced that the requirements will be effective, particularly if they currently use nuclear power for peaceful purposes.

Non-Ratifying Nations in NWFZs While their presence in a current Nuclear Weapon Free Zone indicates that support for NWFZs

is not uncommon in their region, non-ratifying members of NWFZs are likely to have

reservations about NWFZs in their current form, and will likely press for more favorable provisions. More so than nations that have ratified Nuclear Weapon Free Zones, they are likely to oppose measures that impose addition requirements for memberships.

Non-nuclear weapons States not in NWFZs In most cases, these nations will focus on the specific regional problems that prevent the establishment of a NWFZ. Often, these states are in fully in favor of Nuclear Weapon Free Zones, and will try to coordinate action on the regional level in order to pave the way for

18 implementation. A nation’s position with regards to appropriate IAEA requirements will depend upon its specific circumstances.

Non-Members of the NPT Nations that are non-members of the Non-Proliferation Treaty will be the most adamant in pushing for issues to be resolved on a regional level before attempting to implement NWFZs. Their positions will likely be closely related to their reasons for not becoming members or for withdrawing from the NPT.


Bibliography BOOKS Art, Robert J. and Robert Jervis. International Politics: Enduring Concepts and Contemporary Issues. New York: Pearson Longman 2005. Sagan, Scott D. and Kenneth N. Waltz. The Spread of Nuclear Weapons. New York: W. W. Norton & Company 2003. UN DOCUMENTS United Nations Disarmament and International Security Committee, "Press Release: Middle East Proliferation Highlighted, as Disarmament Committee Continues General Debate". GA/DIS/3276 2004. United Nations General Assembly, “Establishment of a Commission to Deal with the Problems Raised by the Discovery of Atomic Energy”. A/1/1 1946. WORLD WIDE WEB SITES “McNamara: Treaty of Roratonga, French Nuclear Testing.” Federation of America Scientists. “Nuclear-Weapon-Free-Zones: Pursuing Security, Region by Region”. International Atomic Energy Association. “Plutonium Production.” Federation of Atomic Scientists. “Regional Safeguards in Latin America: Implications for the Middle East?.” Center for Middle East Studies. “South Pacific Nuclear-Free Zone Treaty.” Environmental Treaties and Resource Indicators. “Status of the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone Treaty.” OPANAL. “Strategic Nuclear Weapons.” United States Department of State. “Strengthening Existing Nuclear Weapon Free Zones.” The Lawyers’ Committee on Nuclear Disarmament. “The Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.” Atomic Archive.


“The Tsar Bomba.” Nuclear Weapon Archive. “Timeline.” Nuclear Files. “Treaty of Tlatelolco.” The Agency for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean.'The% 20Treaty%20of%20Tlatelolco%20for%20Latin%20America%20and%20the%20Caribbe an'. “Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).” International Atomic Energy. Agency, “Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).” United Nations. for International Earth Science Information Network, “Antarctic Treaty,” “South Korea’s Nuclear Experiments.” Center for Nonproliferation Studies. "U.N. nuke chief ElBaradei heads to S.Korea, Japan." Yahoo! World News.

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