Deadly weapons and their emerging regimes: Asia' peril and promise
The treaties and regimes that govern the possession and use of WMD-chemical, biological and nuclear weapons--represent the cornerstone of international disarmament and non-proliferation efforts. Based on multilateral consensus and diplomatic methods, they represent a more durable alternative to the unilateral use of military force to insure compliance. Jayantha Dhanapala, former United Nations under-secretary-general for disarmament affairs, analyses the life cycles of regimes, with particular reference to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. As a region with a long history of armed conflict, and as home to a number of potential nuclear states, Asia has a vital interest in the continuing health of all the regimes. The author describes ways in which Asian nations can contribute to their success, and optimistically concludes that a combination of treaty-based regimes, NGO activism, and support from civil society may succeed in curbing the destructive tendencies of the more warlike members of the world community.