The past twenty years have seen repeated violations of nonproliferation, arms control, and disarmament agreements. North Korea and Iran both developed clandestine nuclear programs in contravention of their nonproliferation obligations. While the former ultimately developed nuclear weapons, the latter agreed to curtail its activities under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action—which the United States then violated. At the same time, Washington and Moscow are trading mutual accusations of noncompliance with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. Meanwhile, they and the other nuclear-weapon states are accused by many non-nuclear-weapon states of failing to fulfil their disarmament obligations. Looking forward, what are the prospects for the rules-based nuclear order and how can they be improved? What is the likelihood of cooperation between China, Russia, and the United States on enforcement and the consequences if it is not forthcoming? Finally, what roles can and should other states be prepared to play?
Susanne Baumann, German Federal Government Commissioner for Disarmament and Arms Control
Elayne Whyte Gómez, Permanent Representative of Costa Rica to the United Nations in Geneva