PPI Program on Weapons of Mass Destruction

Published by Public Policy Institute on

By Pavela Mitova

The main problems our civilization is currently facing are starting more and more to assume the characteristics of what we call a “global threat”, namely risks that affect the planet globally and the management of which requires global governance. That being said, it is deductible that their effective address is resulting as nearly impossible, given the existing, separated between different sovereign nation states, executive power of the current global order system. Fortunately, the number of NGOs, academic institutions, research papers and civil society initiatives, posing questions on the necessity to deal with global challenges, bas been drastically increasing in the past decade. To that end, the Public Policy Institute opened a Program on Weapons of Mass Destruction, which independently and in cooperation with leading world experts and institutes on the matter, manages projects on the topic of WMDs, makes research and analysis of current developments, organizes courses and training programs and informes the society on current risks in the sphere of WMDs. In a series of publications on our website, we will explain the fundamentals of the risk Weapons of Mass Destruction are posing. In the upcoming articles we will describe:

  • the main problems surrounding the topic from a geo-political perspective, as well as from the perspective of international humanitarian law and international law;
  • explain the main treaties on the topic and the mission of international organizations dealing with WMDs;
  • explain the science behind WMDs, necessary to understand the limitations on possible global control and regulation of WMDs, as well as the effect of new technologies on the status quo;
  • describe, from a historical perspective, US-Russia relations and their effect on international arms control;
  • assess the consensus on chemical weapons arms control and the Responsibility to Protect principle of the United Nations, evaluating its dual-standard application in the cases of Libya and Syria;
  • and explain the case study of North Korea where global non-proliferation efforts prove to be pointles.

While the threat of Weapons of Mass Destruction may seem somewhat old- fashioned and obsolete and at first glance impossible to materialize, the mare existence of WMDs, remains one of the biggest threats to mankind, where nuclear weapons result an eminent existential threat to humanity, while being the largest gap in the efforts of multilateral disarmament and non-proliferation. Despite the fact that many important milestones have been accomplished in the past years, aiming to counter the threat of WMDs, including the chemical and biological weapons conventions, export regimes, monitoring, verification and safeguard systems, only a few of these address nuclear weapons and almost none of these deal with future threats. It is within this context the Program on Weapons of Mass Destruction of the Public Policy Institute explores key challenges and new developments in the field of non-proliferation and disarmament of WMDs, with a particular emphasis on the threat of nuclear weapons and emerging technologies.