Verification, Compliance, Enforcement
Verification is a critical aspect of arms control
and disarmament. Verification measures guarantee that treaty obligations
are met in party states by deterring cheating through the risk of
detection. Accurate and effective international verification is
crucial in order to ensure compliance and build confidence among
states. Confidence in compliance will lead to cooperation and further
reduction of weapons of mass destruction, so the world can benefit
from their elimination as soon as possible.
Different international arms control and disarmament agreements
contain different verification mechanisms, ranging from robust and
reliable to non-existent. The International
Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is responsible for verifying compliance
with the Nuclear
Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Non-nuclear weapon states party
to the NPT must sign comprehensive safeguards agreements with the
IAEA. Many states have also implemented the Additional Protocol,
which grants the IAEA greater authority to ensure NPT compliance.
The IAEA uses its technical expertise to verify compliance with
the nonproliferation obligations of the NPT by ensuring non-nuclear
weapon states do not divert nuclear material to weapons purposes.
However, there is no verification mechanism or institution that
verifies compliance with the disarmament obligations of the NPT.
Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) has a vigorous International
Monitoring System (IMS). The Comprehensive
Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) administers this system
even though the Treaty has not yet entered into force. The monitoring
system covers the globe and listens for evidence of nuclear explosions
in all environments. 217 of 321 monitoring stations have been built,
and 100 of them are already transmitting data. The monitoring system
is also capable of detecting tsunamis.
Although there is not currently a treaty banning the production
of fissile materials for nuclear weapons, verification of such a
treaty is currently being explored. The International Panel on Fissile
Materials and nearly all world governments believe such a treaty
is verifiable and must be verified in order to be credible. The
United States does not believe a fissile material treaty is verifiable
and opposes any reference to verification in this context.
The Chemical Weapons Convention is verified by the Organization
on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). The OPCW is made
up about 5,000 staff that monitors the destruction of chemical weapons
and of chemical weapons production facilities. The staff also implements
the complex declaration and short notice challenge inspections under
the verification procedures, undertakes routine inspections and
Verification measures are lacking in other critical treaty regimes.
Unlike the Chemical Weapons Convention, which has an unprecedented
on-site inspection provision, the Biological Weapons Convention
has no verification mechanism. None of the control regimes for delivery
systems are legally binding, and none have verification provisions,
therefore their implementation is dependent on the resolve and individual
initiative of member states.
For more information:
Verification, Compliance, Enforcement Resources Page