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A Piece of the Global Puzzle

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By Johan Bergenas – This weekend, Saudi Arabia will gather Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and other Middle Eastern states to collaborate on fighting the spread of weapons of mass destruction to terrorist organizations. The Saudi initiative reaffirms that regional cooperation is an emerging and powerful facet of international politics, and that regional organizations are a proven force against international security threats. This is not just hyperbole; there is ample evidence worldwide to back it up. This new report from Stimson’s Johan Bergenas identifies the importance of regional organizations in implementing UN Security Council Resolution 1540, looking particularly at the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and League of Arab States in the Middle East.

Download the complete publication:A Piece of the Global Puzzle: The Role of the Gulf Cooperation Council and League of Arab States in Implementing Resolution 1540

Read Bergenas’ article in the World Politics Review.

Read Bergenas’ other publications

 Hans Blix, Former Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency and Executive Chairman of the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission, had this to say about the report:

Chapter VIII of the UN Charter clearly looks upon interstate regional arrangements and agencies as institutions that can alleviate the task of the UN Security Council to maintain international peace and security. Bodies like the Organization of American States, Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the African Union are cases in point, but also – in the field of nonproliferation – nuclear weapon free zone arrangements. In this study Johan Bergenas of the Stimson Center shows ably how regional organizations, notably the Gulf Cooperation Council and the League of Arab States, can help both to prevent further nuclear proliferation in the Middle East and to facilitate cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

Being close to the governments in the region and with an understanding of how trade flows in and through it, these organizations can assist in the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1540 that obliges their members to enact and enforce trade restrictions designed to prevent nuclear proliferation. With knowledge of legislation in the region they can also help to draft national laws criminalizing acts and activities that aim at or further nuclear proliferation. Bergenas’ study reflects the ongoing work of Stimson’s Managing Across Boundaries program that successfully engages both public and private sector actors to combat proliferation and transnational security threats. In examining the role that regional organizations can play in nuclear nonproliferation, Bergenas contributes a very special perspective that is a welcomed addition in the vast literature on nonproliferation.

Johan and MAB senior associate Brian Finlay are currently traveling in East Africa to engage governments on 1540 implementation. On December 6, the program, in cooperation with the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Stanley Foundation, organized a workshop in Nairobi, Kenya titled “Bridging the Security/Development Divide in Kenya with International Security Assistance.” Ambassador Ochieng Adala offered opening remarks at the meeting, which was attended by some 25 governmnet officials and NGO representatives.

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