The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) is one of the most serious threats of our time. Stimson’s WMD Nonproliferation program develops innovative, effective approaches with states, the United Nations and civil society to keep these weapons and dual-use materials from being used by illicit actors. This program is part of the Managing Across Boundaries initiative.
While globalization has increased trade, it has also created opportunities for the spread of dangerous materials and technologies, including WMD, their precursors, and their means of delivery. WMD proliferation is challenging to control. Interest in WMD acquisition is high, with non-state actors and even some states intent on developing and acquiring WMD capability. Responsible nation states and the international community need help to prevent these weapons from falling into the wrong hands.
The WMD Nonproliferation program works to cultivate practical, implementable solutions that help prevent the production and spread of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery. As WMD proliferation is a transnational security challenge, the program educates and engages new stakeholders while leveraging their expertise and creativity in search of new solutions.
The Stimson Center undertook a pilot project in 2014-2015 on Strategic Trade Controls to examine if graduate students, law schools, and law firms could be effectively engaged in aiding nonproliferation efforts. The project proved successful. As a result, Stimson currently has two projects that engage non-traditional international security actors in providing valuable perspectives to combat this threat.
-UNSCR 1540 International Student Essay Contest: United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540 was unanimously adopted in 2004 to address the grave threat of WMD proliferation and their means of delivery. To assist states in implementation efforts, the 1540 Committee was established as a subsidiary organ to the United Nations Security Council. The Stimson Center’s international student essay contest supports the 1540 Committee’s comprehensive five-year implementation review in 2016. The contest solicits creative 1540 implementation approaches from innovative students while educating thousands on the importance of addressing proliferation issues. The top essays will help inform the 1540 review and provide pragmatic and original ideas to stymie WMD proliferation.
-Legislative Assistance: Working with the NGO VERTIC and leveraging the pro bono support of major law firms, Stimson is engaging nations in Latin America and the Caribbean to support their efforts to develop effective laws and regulations to implement their 1540 obligations.
-The Asan Institute for Policy Studies
-Global Affairs Canada’s Global Partnership Program
-Harvard University Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
-Institute for Security Studies
-Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Finland
-United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA)
-United States Department of State
Photo credit: U.N. Photo/Eskinder Debebe