International Institutions and Nuclear Proliferation: The Dependence on Nations

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The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) that took effect in 1968 was the landmark of international cooperation during the Cold War. As of 2015, there are 190 nations as parties to the treaty with four abstentions and one withdrawal. While the cooperative importance of this treaty cannot be understated, it is not the only International Institution that has a prominent place in the non-proliferation, disarmament and nuclear safety realm. The question isn’t whether these institutions are necessary in the international community, but how effective these Non-Governmental Organizations and institutions are in an international community dominated by sovereign nations. These institutions may have member states or …show more content…
The NPT continued, after the Cold War, to be the most universally accepted international body when discussing the aspiring acquisition of nuclear weapons by states. The most important facet of the NPT is its recognition as a legitimate international authority. During the Cold War, the two major nuclear powers in the world became signatories in an effort to usher in a new age of nuclear arms control. To make a basic comparison, the failure of the League of Nations was attributed largely to the United States not becoming a member. The example set forth by the USA and USSR by signing onto NPT has given the institution the authority it needs to attempt to effectively curtail the nuclear arms race. The major obstacle facing the NPT is its enforcement capability. As with every system, there are hiccups, such as the North Korean withdrawal from the treaty, but how severe were the consequences for North Korea? The NPT relies upon the collective conscience of its member-states in order for there to be effective enforcement. The USA has used economic sanctions and threat of force to uphold the mandate of the NPT, and other nations such as Great Britain and Russia have followed suit. I will analyze the NPTs performance in the Middle East with regards to the Israel/Arab State situation later on to illustrate these issues.

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