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un Security Council vs. Weapons of Mass Destruction

In: Nordic Journal of International Law
Author: Hans Blix1
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  • 1 Director-General Emeritus, International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna, Austria
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International institutions given the task to maintain collective security and to seek disarmament need to build on cooperation between major powers. The authors of the un Charter vested great powers in the Security Council but a consensus between the five permanent great powers was required for use of the powers. This inevitably paralyzed the Council during the Cold War. After the end of the Cold War, the permanent members have remained unable jointly to pursue disarmament, but they have succeeded in several remarkable cases to reach consensus, notably on measures to prevent the further spread of weapons of mass destruction. The quick action to eliminate chemical weapons in Syria was a win-win case led by us-Russian diplomacy, while the comprehensive deal settling the controversy over Iran’s nuclear program was a victory for patient diplomacy involving all permanent members and the eu. These actions show the potentials of the Council.

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