Ukraine A Disaster For Lethal Weapons Nonproliferation

(MENAFN- Asia Times) When Ukraine's Volodymyr Zelensky met with President Joe Biden , on September 21, 2023, the topic of weapons supply was on the agenda. That same issue almost certainly came up between Russia's Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un when the pair met earlier in September.

The fact is, with the conflict in Ukraine having now dragged on for more than a year and a half, both sides are increasingly desperate to keep the flow of arms going . And that has alarmed people like Izumi Nakamitsu , the United Nations' high representative for disarmament affairs, who on September 12 warned of violations of international resolutions against the illegal transfer of weapons and the risk of proliferation even after the war ends.

As an expert on international security and weapons proliferation , I share these concerns. After the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001, efforts were made to forge a global consensus on the spread of weapons .

But the war in Ukraine is contributing to a reordering of global politics that has eroded cooperation to stop the spread of weapons and dangerous technology, such as advanced missiles, drones, munitions and the components and know-how necessary to build them.

Ukraine A Disaster For Lethal Weapons Nonproliferation Image

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and U.S. President Joe Biden walk to the Oval Office on Sept. 21, 2023. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The war itself isn't the cause of this trend. Growing competition between China and Russia on one side and the United States and its allies on the other prompted the drift away from consensus on weapons nonproliferation.

The post-9/11 consensus

Efforts to encourage global disarmament and nonproliferation date back to before World War I and can be seen in the various conventions to stop the spread of nuclear , chemical and biological weapons. But they varied in scope and effectiveness , and it is now recognized that during that time the Soviet Union clandestinely violated treaties, including the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention .

Global concerns over the threat from terrorism after 9/11 meant that countries looked toward nonproliferation with more urgency. With international support , the UN Security Council passed Resolution 1540 in 2004, establishing a legally binding mandate for all member states to confront the illicit proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

It also created an international committee charged with providing support for member states to combat proliferation and develop strategic trade control systems.

Since then, the committee, with broad international support, has assisted states through answering specific requests regarding improving their strategic trade control systems and organizing outreach activities that help individual states address particular issue areas, such as improving their compliance with various nonproliferation regimes.


Asia Times

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