NUCLEAR WEAPONS AND THE WEALTH DIVIDE

Greg Reynolds for RUSSIA TODAY

Two clear issues have so far been raised in the discourse of DISEC: finances and proliferation of nuclear weapons.

The draft resolution seeks to, per clause 2, demand that states that are not members of the non-proliferation and non-first use treaties of nuclear armaments ratify these treaties by the end of 2015, and threatens an escalating scale of sanctions for non-compliance that culminate in the use of force.

The proliferation of nuclear weapons is the crux of this draft resolution. The intention is to create a nuclear weapons free zone, and to prevent the proliferation of armaments by states such as India, Israel and Pakistan.

Furthermore, it seeks to enforce compliance with established nuclear weapons treaty against all member states. In doing so, it undermines the sovereignty of all member states, as it removes a critical element of the law of treaties: the option to choose to be bound.

In addition, this draft resolution is problematic for international security on a whole. After all, the states that it will police have, or could develop, nuclear capabilities.

The clause regarding finances of the United Nations Commissioner for Nuclear Disarmament, clause 5, comes in quietly at the end of the resolution. It does, however, hold dramatic implications. It would create a broad level of funding for the commissioner, and has caused a schism between the developed and developing world.

As most of the developed world contracts economically, increasingly developed states disparage the notion of footing the funds for international efforts. This undermines the largely Western-led treaty, as increasingly developing members of DISEC are seeing the Western rhetoric as hollow.

It is worth noting that the member states the resolution particularly considers are overwhelmingly impoverished, particularly India, Pakistan, South Sudan and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

The question remains whether the bloc promoting disarmament in DISEC will have enough legitimacy and diplomatic power to increase the international disarmament regime.

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