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"...the Arms Control Association [does] so much to keep the focus on the issues so important to everyone here, to hold our leaders accountable to inspire creative thinking and to press for change. So we are grateful for your leadership and for the unyielding dedication to global nuclear security."
– Lord Des Browne
Vice Chairman, Nuclear Threat Initiative
Fact Sheets & Briefs

The Wassenaar Arrangement at a Glance

December 2017

Contact: Daryl KimballExecutive Director, (202) 463-8270 x107

Updated: December 2017 

The Wassenaar Arrangement, formally established in July 1996, is a voluntary export control regime whose 42 members [1] exchange information on transfers of conventional weapons and dual-use goods and technologies. Through such exchanges, Wassenaar aims to promote "greater responsibility" among its members in exports of weapons and dual-use goods and to prevent "destabilizing accumulations." Unlike its predecessor, the Cold War-era Coordinating Committee for Multilateral Export Controls (COCOM), which was created to restrict exports to the former Soviet Union and Eastern bloc, Wassenaar is not targeted at any region or group of states, but rather at "states of concern" to members. Wassenaar members also lack veto authority over other member's proposed exports, a power that COCOM members exercised.

To promote transparency, Wassenaar calls on states to make a series of voluntary information exchanges and notifications on their export activities related to weapons and items appearing on the arrangement's two control lists.

For the Munitions List (Conventional Weapons):

Every six months, members exchange information on deliveries of conventional arms to non-Wassenaar members that fall under eight broad weapon categories: battle tanks, armored combat vehicles (ACVs), large-caliber artillery, military aircraft/unmanned aerial vehicles, military and attack helicopters, warships, missiles or missile systems, and small arms and light weapons. Members added the final category in December 2003 after years of debate. The ACV, aircraft, and helicopter categories include models designed to perform reconnaissance or conduct command of troops missions.

For the Dual-Use Goods and Technologies List:

Tier 1: Basic Items

Twice per year, members exchange information on all export licenses denied on proposed transfers to non-Wassenaar members.

Tier 2: Sensitive Items and its subset of Very Sensitive Items

  • Within 60 days, members are requested to notify the Wassenaar Secretariat of any export licenses denied on proposed transfers to non-Wassenaar members.
  • Twice per year, members exchange information on all export licenses issued or transfers made to non-Wassenaar members.
  • For the subset of Very Sensitive items, such as stealth technology materials and advanced radar, members are called on to "exert extreme vigilance" in exports.
  • Within 60 days, members are requested to notify the Wassenaar Secretariat of any export license approvals of transactions that are "essentially identical" to transactions that another Wassenaar member denied within the past three years. Wassenaar members are not obligated to deny transfers previously denied by others.

Although Wassenaar has overcome a great deal of growing pains, problems persist. Foremost among the arrangement's difficulties is that members continue to be divided over Wassenaar's scope, primarily whether the arrangement should become more than just a body for exchanging and collecting information. Because Wassenaar operates by consensus, a single country can block any proposal. In earlier years, a few members consistently refused to fully participate in voluntary information exchanges and notifications on dual-use goods, though participation has reportedly improved.[2] In addition, there is no consensus among members on which countries are "states of concern" or what constitutes a "destabilizing" transfer. Another limiting factor is that some major arms exporters, such as Belarus, China, and Israel are not members.

During the arrangement's years of operation, Wassenaar members have reaffirmed their commitment to preventing terrorist groups and individuals from acquiring conventional arms and dual-use goods and technologies, agreed to "exercise maximum restraint" in exports to the Great Lakes region of Africa, gradually expanded the types of weapons exports that information is exchanged upon, and agreed on the importance of "responsible export policies" on small arms and light weapons. At its December 1998 plenary meeting, the members approved a paper of non-binding criteria to help governments determine whether potential arms exports could lead to destabilizing accumulations.[3] Wassenaar members have also agreed on non-binding criteria to guide exports of shoulder-fired, surface-to-air missiles, formally referred to as man-portable air defense Systems (MANPADS), and endorsed voluntary "best practices" for disposing of surplus military equipment, enforcing national export controls, and controlling Very Sensitive dual-use exports. They have also approved non-binding criteria to guide exports of small arms and light weapons, agreed to exercise greater control on arms brokers, and committed to better regulate exports of dual-use goods purchased by recipients subject to arms embargos if the item is intended for a military end-use.


ENDNOTES:

1. The 42 participating states in the Wassenaar Arrangement are Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

2. Wassenaar members agreed that all information exchanges, notifications, and Wassenaar discussions be kept confidential.

3. The Arms Control Association can provide copies upon request.

Conventional Arms Issues

Cluster Munitions at a Glance

December 2017

Contact: Daryl Kimball, Executive Director, (202) 463-8270 x107

Updated: December 2017

Cluster munitions, also called cluster bombs or CBUs, are gravity bombs, artillery shells, and rockets that fragment into small bomblets or grenades. Some cluster munitions disperse only two bomblets while others can spread up to hundreds of submunitions over a large area. These weapons are designed for use against massed formations of troops and armor or broad targets, such as airfields. Cluster submunitions, however, sometimes fail to explode on impact and can kill or maim civilians who later come into contact with them. These unexploded submunitions may remain dangerous for decades. According to Cluster Munition Monitor 2017, at least 21,200 cluster munition casualties have been confirmed globally since the 1990s. About 17,291 came from unexploded submunitions, and about 3,983 from strikes. Estimated totals, however, are considered much higher, and according to the Monitor, “are likely a better indicator of the true numbers.” Estimates for a global total range from 58,000 to 85,000. Almost all reported cluster munition casualties have been civilians, in large part because of the unwillingness of militaries to provide information.

Cluster munitions have been used during armed conflict in 40 countries and four disputed territories since the end of World War II. Almost every part of the world has experienced cluster munition use at some point over the past 70 years, including Southeast Asia, Southeast Europe, the Caucasus, the Middle East and North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Latin America. Although cluster munitions first saw use in World War II and more than 50 countries have since acquired stockpiles of such arms, efforts to regulate or ban the use of cluster munitions gained greater attention and momentum after the summer 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah, a Shiite organization that the United States identifies as a terrorist group. Israel’s extensive cluster munitions use in the last 72 hours of that conflict resulted in an estimated one million unexploded bomblets scattered across southern Lebanon, arousing some strong condemnation. Jan Egeland, then-UN Undersecretary General for Humanitarian Affairs, blasted Israel’s use of cluster munitions as “shocking and completely immoral.”

Convention on Cluster Munitions

The Convention on Certain Conventional Munitions (CCW) did not restrict the use of cluster munitions. Although a group of states initially sought to establish a new protocol banning cluster munitions in the CCW, years of negotiations in the consensus-based forum failed to produce such a protocol. Frustrated with the slow-moving CCW approach, Norway at the November 2006 review conference announced an alternative effort to negotiate a treaty on cluster munitions. The inaugural meeting of that effort convened February 2007 in Oslo. Of the 49 governments attending the conference, 46 ultimately signed the “Oslo Declaration” to “conclude, by 2008, a legally binding instrument that will…prohibit the use, production, transfer, and stockpiling of cluster munitions that cause unacceptable harm to civilians.”

Much of the debate among participating governments over the treaty centered on two issues. The first was whether future use restrictions would take effect immediately or, as Germany argued, be phased in to allow time for the development of alternative weapons. The second was whether the treaty should outlaw all cluster munitions or permit some exemptions for certain types or for their use in certain circumstances. Sweden called for a treaty balancing “legitimate humanitarian and military interests,” while the United Kingdom sought exemptions for systems equipped with self-destruct or self-deactivation devices that are supposed to render unexploded munitions harmless after a short period of time. Other countries, such as Norway, Ireland, and Mexico, favored a total ban.

On May 30, 2008 the Dublin Diplomatic Conference on Cluster Munitions adopted a comprehensive new treaty banning cluster munitions. The 107 states adopted the treaty. The Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) is a legally binding international treaty that prohibits the use, production, stockpiling and transfer of cluster munitions and requires clearance of remnants and destruction of stocks. It requires states to provide assistance to survivors and their communities and builds on existing international human rights and humanitarian law. The treaty requires states to destroy existing stockpiles within eight years and to clear contaminated land within 10 years. The obligations relating to victim assistance were groundbreaking; they demanded the full realization of the rights of people affected by cluster munitions and require states to implement effective victim assistance measures. 

The Convention on Cluster Munitions was signed by 94 countries at the Oslo Signing Conference in December 2008, and entered into force on August 1, 2010, after 30 states ratified it by February 16, 2010. In November 2010, the First Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions (1MSP) took place in Vientiane, Lao PDR. After holding their First Meeting of States Parties in Lao PDR in November 2010, states parties convened in Lebanon, another highly contaminated country, for the convention’s Second Meeting of States Parties on September 12–16, 2011. At the meeting, states parties adopted the Beirut Progress Report, charting implementation of the Vientiane Action Plan, which guides the work of the convention through to its First Review Conference in 2015.

Status of the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions

A total of 102 states have ratified or acceded to the Convention on Cluster Munitions to become full states-parties as of 1 August 2017, and 17 states that have signed have yet to ratify. States-parties include former producers and users of cluster munitions such as France, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom (UK). Since the convention entered into force on August 1, 2010, becoming binding international law, states can no longer sign, but must instead accede.

A total of 53 signatories have ratified the convention since August 2010, including countries where cluster munitions have been used (Afghanistan and Mauritania), former cluster munition producers (Italy, Sweden, and Switzerland), and countries that have stockpiled cluster munitions (Afghanistan, Côte d’Ivoire, Czech Republic, Honduras, Hungary, Italy, Mauritania, Sweden, and Switzerland). 

Unilateral restrictions on use

Several states that have not joined the Convention on Cluster Munitions have imposed restrictions on the possible future use of cluster munitions. Romania has said it restricts the use of cluster munitions to use exclusively on its own territory. Poland has said it would use cluster munitions for defensive purposes only, and does not intend to use them outside its own territory. Estonia and Finland have made similar declarations. During the CCW negotiations on cluster munitions, several states that have not signed or ratified the Convention on Cluster Munitions publicly stated that they were prepared to accept a ban on the use of cluster munitions produced before 1980 as part of the proposed CCW protocol, including Russia, China, India, and South Korea. The CMC urges that as an interim measure toward joining the Convention on Cluster Munitions, these states should institute the commitment made at CCW as national policy. 

U.S. Cluster Munitions Policy

In June 2008, the U.S. Department of Defense released a directive requiring that any U.S. use of cluster munitions before 2018 that results in a one percent or higher unexploded ordnance (UXO) rate—which includes all but a tiny fraction of the US arsenal—must be approved by a “Combatant Commander,” a very high-ranking military official and that after 2018, the United States would no longer use cluster munitions that result in more than one percent UXO.

However, in a Defense Department memorandum circulated on November 30, 2017, the Trump administration eliminated the 2019 deadline to stop using cluster munitions resulting in more than one percent UXO but retained the requirement for Combatant Commander authorization for their use.

The United States is a producer and exporter of cluster bombs. In 2011, the United States reported that it possessed more than 6 million cluster munitions. In 2001, the United States adopted a policy that all cluster munitions produced domestically after late 2004 must have submunitions with failure rates of less than one percent. As with all U.S. arms exports, transfers of cluster munitions are governed by conditions restricting their re-transfer and use by importers.

One such agreement applies to U.S. cluster munitions shipped to Israel. Although secret, the agreement is generally understood to prohibit the use of cluster munitions in populated areas and against targets that are not clearly military. Following the 2006 conflict in Lebanon, the Department of State’s Office of Defense Trade Controls opened an investigation into whether Israel had violated the agreement. State Department spokesperson Sean McCormack said that the preliminary report, delivered to the president and Congress in January 2007, found that “there likely could have been some violations.” The United States sanctioned Israel for misusing cluster munitions in the past. The Ronald Reagan administration suspended cluster munitions sales to Israel between 1982 and 1988 following Israel’s widespread use of such arms during an earlier invasion of Lebanon.

While as recently as 2006, the United States opposed negotiating a protocol on cluster munitions at CCW review conferences, in 2007, it changed its position. Ronald Bettauer, head of the U.S. delegation, attributed the reversal “to the importance of this issue, concerns raised by other countries, and our own concerns about the humanitarian implications of these weapons.” Department of State Legal Adviser Harold Koh stated November 9, 2009, that the United States has determined that it’s “national security interests cannot be fully ensured consistent with the terms” of the CCM but that “the United States remains committed to negotiate a legally binding Protocol on Cluster Munitions in the CCW.”

Research Assistance by Daria Medvedeva

 
Conventional Arms Issues

Fact Sheet Categories:

Worldwide Ballistic Missile Inventories

December 2017

Contact: Kelsey Davenport, Director for Nonproliferation Policy, (202) 463-8270 x102

Updated: December 2017

The following chart lists 31 countries, including the United States and its allies, which currently possess ballistic missiles. For each country, the chart details the type of missile, its operational status, and the best-known public estimates of each missile’s range.

Only nine (China, France, India, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States) of the 31 states below are known or suspected of possessing nuclear weapons. These nine states and Iran have produced or flight-tested missiles with ranges exceeding 1,000 kilometers. China and Russia are the only two states that are not U.S. allies that have a proven capability to launch ballistic missiles from their territories that can strike the continental United States. This factsheet does not list countries' cruise missiles.

Ballistic Missile Basics

Ballistic missiles are powered by rockets initially but then they follow an unpowered, free-falling trajectory toward their targets. They are classified by the maximum distance that they can travel, which is a function of how powerful the missile’s engines (rockets) are and the weight of the missile’s payload. To add more distance to a missile’s range, rockets are stacked on top of each other in a configuration referred to as staging. There are four general classifications of ballistic missiles:

  • Short-range ballistic missiles, traveling less than 1,000 kilometers (approximately 620 miles);
  • Medium-range ballistic missiles, traveling between 1,000–3,000 kilometers (approximately 620-1,860 miles);
  • Intermediate-range ballistic missiles, traveling between 3,000–5,500 kilometers (approximately 1,860-3,410 miles); and
  • Intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), traveling more than 5,500 kilometers.

Short- and medium-range ballistic missiles are referred to as theater ballistic missiles, whereas ICBMs or long-range ballistic missiles are described as strategic ballistic missiles. Missiles are often classified by fuel-type: liquid or solid propellants. Missiles with solid fuel require less maintenance and preparation time than missiles with liquid fuel because solid-propellants have the fuel and oxidizer together, whereas liquid-fueled missiles must keep the two separated until right before deployment.

Country

System[1]

Status

Range[2]

Propellant

Afghanistan

Frog-7

Operational

70 km

Solid

Scud-B

Unknown[3]

300 km

Liquid

Armenia

Frog-7

Operational

70 km

Solid

Scud-B[4]

Operational

300 km

Liquid

SS-21 Scarab-C

Operational

70-120 km

Liquid

SS-26 Stone (Iskander E)

Operational

280 km

Solid

Bahrain

ATACMS Block 1 (MGM-140)

Operational

165 km

Solid

Belarus

Frog-7

Operational

70 km

Solid

SS-21 Scarab B

Operational

120 km

Solid

Scud-B

Operational

300 km

Liquid

China

B611 (CSS-X-11)

Operational

250 km

Solid

M-7 (CSS-8)

Operational

190-250 km


Liquid

DF-4 (CSS-3)

Operational

5,500+ km


Liquid

DF-5 (CSS-4, Mod 1)

Operational

12,000 km


Liquid

DF-5A (CSS-4, Mod 2)

Operational

13,000+ km


Liquid

DF-5B (CSS-4 Mod 3)

Operational

12,000 km

Liquid

DF-5C

Tested/Development

13,000 km

Liquid

DF-11 (CSS-7)

Operational

280 km


Solid

DF-11A (CSS-7)

Operational

350 km

Solid

DF-15A (CSS-6)

Operational

900 km


Solid

DF-15B (CSS-6)

Operational

50-800 km

Solid

DF-15C (CSS-6)

Development

Unknown

Solid

DF-16 (CSS-11)

Operational

800-1000 km

Solid

DF-21 (CSS-5, Mod 1)

Operational

1750+ km


Solid

DF-21A (CSS-5, Mod 2)

Operational

1,770+ km


Solid

DF-21C (CSS-5 Mod 4)

Operational

2,150-2,500 km


Solid

DF-21D (CSS-5 Mod 5) ASBM variant

Operational

1,500 km


Solid

DF-26

Operational

4,000 km

Solid

DF-31 (CSS-10 Mod 1)

Operational

7,000+ km


Solid

DF-31A (CSS-10 Mod 2)

Operational

11,000+ km

Solid

DF-41 (CSS-X-20)

Development

12,000-15,000 km

Solid

Julang (JL) 1 (CSS-N-3) (SLBM)

Retiring

1,000+ km


Solid

Julang (JL) 2 (CSS-N-14) (SLBM)

Operational

7,000+ km

Solid

Julang (JL) 3 (SLBM)

Development

unknown

Solid

Egypt

R-300 (SS-1-C Scud-B)

Operational

300 km

Liquid

Project-T (Scud B-100)

Operational

450 km

Liquid

Scud-C

Operational

550 km

Liquid

R-70 Luna M (Frog-7B)

Operational

70 km

Solid

Sakr-80

Operational

80+ km

Solid

France

M45 (SLBM)

Operational (Will be replaced by M51)

4,000-6000 km


Solid

M51.1 (SLBM)

Operational

6,000+ km


Solid

M51.2 (SLBM)

Tested/Development

6,000+ km


Solid

M51.3 (SLBM)

Development

unknown

Solid

Georgia

Scud B

Operational

300 km

Liquid

Greece

ATACMS Block 1 (MGM-140)

Operational

165 km

Solid

India[6]

Prithvi-I

Operational

150 km

Liquid

Prahaar

Tested/ Development

150 km

Solid

Prithvi-II

Operational

250-350 km

Liquid

Prithvi-III

Development

350 km

Solid

Dhanush (ship-launched)

Operational

400 km

Liquid

Sagarika/K-15 (SLBM)

Tested/Development

700 km

Solid

Agni-I

Operational

700-1,200 km

Solid

Agni-II

Operational

2,000+ km

Solid

Agni-III

Operational

3,200+ km

Solid

Agni-IV

Tested/Development

3,500+ km

Solid

Agni-V

Tested/Development

5,200+ km

Solid

Agni-VI

Development

8,000-10,000 km

Solid

K-4 (SLBM)

Tested/Development

3,500 km

Solid

K-5 (SLBM)

Rumored Development

6,000+ km

Solid

Iran

 

Mushak-120

Operational

130 km

Solid

Mushak-160

Operational

160 km

Solid

Qiam-1

Operational

500-1,000 km

Liquid

Fateh-110

Operational

200-300 km

Solid

Fateh-313

Operational

500 km

Solid

Tondar-69 (CSS-8)

Operational

150 km

Solid

Scud-B (Shahab 1)

Operational

300 km

Liquid

Scud-C (Shahab 2)

Operational

500 km

Liquid

Zolfaghar

Operational

700 km

Solid

Shahab-3 (Zelzal-3)

Operational

800-1,000 km

Liquid

Ghadr 1/Modified Shahab-3/Kadr Ghadr 110

Tested/Development

1,000-2,000 km

Liquid

Ashura/Sejjil/Sejjil-2

Operational

1,500-2,500 km

Solid

BM-25/Musudan (Suspected)

Unclear

2,500+ km

Liquid

Khoramshahr

Tested/Development

2,000 km

Liquid

Emad-1

Tested/Development

1,750-2,000 km

Liquid

Iraq[7]

Al Fat’h (Ababil-100)

Operational

160 km

Solid

Al Samoud II

Operational

180-200 km

Liquid

Israel

LORA

Operational

280 km

Solid

Jericho-2

Operational

1,500-3,500 km

Solid

Jericho-3

Operational

4,800-6,500 km

Solid

Kazakhstan

Frog-7

Operational

70 km

Solid

Tochka-U (SS-21 Scarab-B)

Operational

120 km

Solid

R-300 (SS-1-C Scud-B)

Operational

300 km

Liquid

Libya[8]

Frog-7

Operational

70 km

Solid

Al Fatah (Itislat)

Tested/Development (on hold)

1,300-1,500 km

Liquid

Scud-B

Operational

300 km

Liquid

North Korea

KN-02 (Toksa/SS-21 variant)

Operational

120-170 km

Solid

Scud-B variant/Hwasong 5

Operational

300 km

Liquid

Scud-C variant/Hwasong 6

Operational

500 km

Liquid

Scud-C variant/Hwasong 7

Operational

700-1,000 km

Liquid

No-Dong-1

Operational

1,200-1,500 km

Liquid

Frog-7

Operational

70 km

Solid

Taepo Dong-1[9]

Tested

2,000-5,000 km

Liquid

Taepo Dong-2 (2-stage) [10]

Tested/Development

4,000-10,000 km

Liquid

Taepo Dong-2 (3-stage)/Unha-2 SLV

Tested/Development

10,000-15,000 km

Liquid

No-Dong-2(B)/ Musudan/BM-25/Hwasong-10 [11]

Tested/Development

2,500-4,000 km

Liquid

KN-17/Hwasong-12

Tested/Development

4,500 km

Liquid

KN-08/Hwasong-13 

Development

5,500-11,500 km

Liquid

KN-14/Hwasong-13/KN-08 Mod 2

Development

8,000-10,000 km

Liquid

KN-11/Pukkuksong-1/Polaris-1

Tested/Development

1,200 km

Solid

KN-15/Pukkuksong-2

Tested/Development

1,200-2,000 km

Solid

KN-20/Hwasong-14

Tested/Development

10,000+ km

Liquid

KN-22/Hwasong-15

Tested/Development

13,000 km

Liquid

KN-18/ Scud variant

Tested/Development

450+

Liquid

Pakistan

Hatf-1

Operational

70-100 km

Solid

Hatf-2 (Abdali)

Operational

180-200 km

Solid

Hatf-3 (Ghaznavi)

Operational

290 km

Solid

Shaheen-1 (Hatf-4)

Operational

750 km

Solid

Shaheen-1A (Hatf-4)

Tested/Development

900 km

Solid

Ghauri-1 (Hatf-5)

Operational

1,250-1,500 km

Liquid

Ghauri-2 (Hatf-5a)

Tested/Development

1,800 km

Liquid

Shaheen-2 (Hatf-6)

Operational

1,500-2,500 km

Solid

Ghauri-3 [12]

Development

3,000 km

Liquid

Nasr (Hatf-9)

Development

60 km

Solid

Ababeel

Development

2,200 km

Solid

Romania

Scud-B

Operational

300 km

Liquid

Russia

RS-20V (SS-18 Satan)

Operational

10,200-16,000 km

Liquid

RS-18 (SS-19 Stiletto)

Operational

10,000 km

Liquid

SS-21 Scarab A

Operational

70 km

Solid

SS-21 Scarab B/ Tochka U

Operational

120 km

Solid

SS-24

Operational

10,000 km

Solid

RS-12M Topol (SS-25 Sickle)

Operational

10,500-11,000 km

Solid

RS-12M1 Topol-M (SS-27) [13]

Operational

11,000 km

Solid

RS-12M2 Topol-M (SS-27 Mod-X-2) (silo)

Operational

11,000 km

Solid

RS-24 Yars (mobile and silo versions) (SS-27 Mod 2)

Operational

10,500 km

Solid

RS-26 Rubezh/Yars M (SS-27)

Tested/Development

5,800 km

Solid

SS-26 Iskander

Operational

400-500 km

Solid

SS-N-8 (R-29) (SLBM)

Operational

8,000 km

Liquid

RSM-50 Volna (SS-N-18) (SLBM)

Operational

6,500-8,000 km

Liquid

SS-N-20 Sturgeon (R-39) (SLBM)

Retiring

8,300 km

Solid

RSM-54 Sineva (SS-N-23 or R-29RM) (SLBM)

Operational

8,300 km

Liquid

RSM-56 Bulava (SS-N-32) (SLBM)

Operational

8,300 km

Solid

SS-26 Tender (Iskander-M)

Operational

500 km

Solid

SS-26 Stone (Iskander-E)

Operational

280 km

Solid

Saudi Arabia

DF-3 (CSS-2)

Operational

2,600 km

Liquid

DF-21 East Wind (CSS-5)

Operational

2,100+ km

Solid

Slovakia

SS-21

Operational

120 km

Solid

South Korea

NHK-1 (Hyonmu-1)

Operational

180 km

Solid

NHK-2 (Hyonmu-2)

Operational

180-250 km

Solid

NHK-2B (Hyunmoo-2B)

Operational

500-800 km

Solid

NHK-2C (Hyunmoo-2C)

Development

800 km

Solid

ATACMS Block 1

Operational

165 km

Solid

Syria

SS-21-B (Scarab-B)

Operational

120 km

Solid

SS-1-C (Scud-B)

Operational

300 km


Liquid

SS-1-D (Scud-C)

Operational

500-700 km

Liquid

SS-1-E (Scud-D)

Tested/Development

700 km

Liquid

CSS-8 (Fateh 110A)

Operational

210-250 km

Solid

Frog-7

Operational

70 km

Solid

Taiwan

Qing Feng

Operational

130 km

Liquid

Tien Chi

Operational

120 km

Solid

ATACMS Block 1

Operational

165 km

Solid

Turkey

ATACMS Block 1 (MGM-140)

Operational

165 km

Solid

J-600T Yildirim I and II

Operational

150-300 km

Solid

Turkmenistan

Scud-B

Operational

300 km

Liquid

United Arab Emirates

Scud-B

Operational

300 km

Liquid

ATACMS Block 1A

Operational

300 km

Solid

 

United Kingdom

D-5 Trident II (SLBM)

Operational

7,400-12,000 km

Solid

United States

ATACMS Block I

Operational

165 km

Solid

ATACMS Block IA

Operational

300 km

Solid

Minuteman III (LGM-30G)

Operational

9,650-13,000 km

Solid

D-5 Trident II (SLBM)

Operational

7,400-12,000 km

Solid

Vietnam

Scud-B

Operational

300 km

Liquid

Scud-C variant

Operational

500 km

Liquid

 

Yemen

Scud-B

Operational

300 km

Liquid

SS-21 (Scarab)

Operational

70-120 km

Solid

Scud C variant

Operational

600 km

Liquid

Frog-7

Operational

70 km

Solid

ENDNOTES:

1. All missiles are surface-to-surface unless otherwise noted. SLBM is an acronym for a submarine-launched ballistic missile and ASBM is an acronym for an anti-ship ballistic missile.

2. The ranges, given in kilometers (km) are estimates based on publicly available sources. These figures, however, do not all necessarily reflect the missile’s maximum range, which may vary with its payload. Equipping a missile with a lighter payload would increase its range. Similarly, a heavier payload would diminish a missile’s range.

3. A January 15, 2001 report by the UN Monitoring Group on Afghanistan concluded that, prior to the October 2001 U.S.-led offensive in Afghanistan, there were approximately 100 Scud-B missiles and at least four Scud mobile launchers in Afghanistan. The current distribution and operational capability of the missiles are unknown, although the UN Monitoring Group speculated that up to 30 of the missiles might be under control of the Northern Alliance.

4. According to a 1997 report by Lev Rokhlin, then-Chairman of the Russian State Duma’s Committee on Defense, Russia transferred eight Scud-B ballistic missiles and 24 Scud launchers, along with other military hardware, to Armenia between 1993-1996. Responding to publication of the report in the Russian newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta and to formal requests by the Azerbaijan government, then-Russian President Boris Yeltsin ordered an investigation into the claims. They were subsequently confirmed in April 1997 by Aman Tuleyev, then-Russian minister for relations with the Commonwealth of Independent States.

5. According to the Department of Defense’s 2009 report on China’s military power, Beijing is investing in conventionally-armed ASBMs based on the CSS-5 airframe which could employ “terminal-sensitive penetrating sub-munitions” in order to hold surface ships at risk.

6. India and Pakistan claim that their missiles are not deployed, meaning that the missiles are not on launchers, aimed at particular locations, or kept on a high state of alert. The missiles are in a state of “induction” with the nuclear warheads stored in facilities separate from the missile units and airfields. Pakistan and India, however, have deployed their missiles on a number of occasions, such as the Kargil crisis in July 1999.

7. Because of lack of current documentary evidence and inconsistencies in source reporting, the status of Iraq’s ballistic missile arsenal is unclear. The United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) determined in 2003 that the Al Samoud II and the Al Fat’h missiles exceeded the range permitted under UN Security Council Resolution 687. That resolution prohibited Iraq from possessing missiles with ranges exceeding 150 kilometers. UN inspectors began the destruction of these missiles on March 1, 2003, but the inspectors were withdrawn before all of the missiles had been eliminated. According to UNMOVIC’s 13th Quarterly Report, only two-thirds of the Al Samoud II missiles declared by Iraq had been destroyed. The 2004 Iraq Survey Group Report by the United States asserted that a “full accounting of the Al Fat’h missiles may not be possible.”

8. According to a CIA Report, Libya privately pledged to the United States in 2003 that it would eliminate all missiles classified as Category I systems by the MTCR. Category I pertains to missiles capable of traveling 300 kilometers or more with a payload of at least 500 kilograms, the presumed minimum weight for a first-generation nuclear warhead. Libya, however, still maintains a missile development program for systems that fall below the Category I threshold capability. Given Libya's obligations under its 2003 WMD renunciation, development of its Al-Fatah missile is on hold until it can meet MTCR requirements. Additionally, Libya's Scud-B arsenal is of questionable utility due to poor maintenance and testing record.

9. The Taepo Dong-1 was first flight-tested August 31, 1998. Its first two stages worked but a third stage failed. The missile has not been flight-tested again and is widely believed to have been a technology demonstrator rather than a missile system intended for deployment.

10. North Korea has carried out two flight tests of what is believed to be its Taepo Dong-2 missile. The test of a two-stage version failed about 40 seconds into its flight on July 5, 2006. The missile is assessed to have used a cluster of No Dong missiles for its first stage and a Scud or No Dong-based second stage. On April 5, 2009, North Korea launched what it called its Unha-2 space launch vehicle, widely believed to be a three-stage variant of its Taepo Dong-2. The first two stages of the rocket were successful and fell in the splashdown zones previously announced by North Korea. U.S. Northern Command said the day of the launch that the third stage and its payload both landed in the Pacific Ocean. Independent analysts assess that the second stage of the Taepo Dong-2 is based on a variant of the Soviet SS-N-6.

11. Although North Korea has never flight-tested the intermediate-range Musudan, a variant of the SS-N-6, Washington alleges that Pyongyang has deployed the missile. The SS-N-6 originally was a Soviet submarine-launched ballistic missile, but North Korea is reportedly deploying it as a road-mobile missile. There also is speculation that North Korea has transferred this missile to Iran.

12. Development of the Ghauri-3 missile was reportedly abandonded for unknown reasons.

13. The SS-27 (Topol-M/RS-12M) is deployed in both road-mobile and silo-based configurations.


Sources: Arms Control Association; Missile Defense Agency; U.S. Department of Defense; Congressional Research Service; National Air and Space Intelligence Center; U.S. Department of State; Federation of American Scientists; Center for Strategic and International Studies; Nuclear Threat Initiative

-Research assistance by Brianna Starosciak

 


 

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The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons At A Glance

September 2017

Contacts: Daryl Kimball, executive director, (202) 463-8270 ext. 107; Alicia Sanders-Zakre, (202) 463-8270 ext. 113

Updated: September 2017

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), which was negotiated by more than 130 states, is a good faith effort to meet their responsibility as signatories of the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) to pursue effective measures on disarmament. The prohibition treaty further reinforces the commitments of these states against the use, threat of use, development, production, manufacture, acquisition, possession, stockpiling, transfer, stationing, or installation of nuclear weapons. It reinforces states' commitments to the NPT and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). Although the prohibition treaty by itself will not eliminate any nuclear weapons, the treaty can help to further delegitimize nuclear weapons and strengthen the legal and political norm against their use.

The Treaty

Preamble

The treaty has a 24-paragraph preamble acknowledging the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons use and the value of existing international disarmament agreements including the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), and nuclear-weapon-free-zone agreements, as well as the “right” of states-parties to peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

Prohibitions (Article 1)

States-parties are prohibited to use, threaten to use, develop, produce, manufacture, acquire, possess, stockpile, transfer, station, or install nuclear weapons or assist with any prohibited activities.

Declarations (Article 2)

A state-party must declare, when joining the treaty, whether it has eliminated a previous nuclear weapons program, currently has nuclear weapons, or holds another country's nuclear weapons on its territory. If a state has another country’s nuclear weapons on its territory when it signs the treaty, it must remove them. If it has its own nuclear weapons, it must eliminate them.

Safeguards (Article 3)

Non-nuclear-weapon states are required to have, at a minimum, a comprehensive safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) “without prejudice” to any future additional agreements.

Nuclear-weapon states accession (Article 4)

There are two ways for a nuclear-weapon state to accede to the treaty and eliminate its nuclear weapons: it can join the treaty and then destroy its nuclear weapons or destroy its nuclear weapons and then join the treaty. States that “destroy and join” must cooperate with a “competent international authority” designated by the treaty to verify dismantlement. States that “join and destroy” must immediately remove nuclear weapons from operational status and submit a time-bound plan for their destruction within 60 days of joining the treaty.

The treaty does not specify which “competent international authority” would be suited to verify irreversible disarmament of a nuclear-armed state that decides to join the treaty, but the treaty allows for an appropriate authority to be designated at a later date. The treaty requires any current or former nuclear-weapon state that seeks to join the prohibition treaty to conclude a safeguards agreement with the IAEA to verify that nuclear materials are not diverted from peaceful to weapons purposes.

Positive obligations (Articles 6 and 7)

The treaty obligates states-parties to provide victim assistance and environmental remediation to those affected by nuclear weapon use and testing.

Meetings of states-parties, signature, ratification and entry into force (Articles 8, 13, 14, and 15)

Biennial meetings of states-parties will address implementation and other measures. Review conferences will be held every six years. The treaty, open for signature on September 20th, 2017, enters into force 90 days after the 50th state ratifies it.

Background

The initiative to negotiate a "legally binding instrument" to prohibit nuclear weapons is the result of a years-long process that grew out of a renewed recognition of the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons use, the rising risk of accidental or intentional nuclear use, and a growing sense of frustration that key nuclear disarmament commitments made by the nuclear-weapon states were not being fulfilled.

The 2010 NPT Review Conference unanimously "expresse[d] its deep concern at the continued risk for humanity represented by the possibility that these weapons could be used and the catastrophic humanitarian consequences that would result from the use of nuclear weapons."

These concerns motivated a group of states, including Norway, Mexico, and Austria to organize a series of three conferences in 2013 and 2014 on the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapon use.

Following the conclusion of the 2015 NPT Review Conference, these and other states agreed to set up an open ended working group in 2016 on advancing multilateral disarmament negotiations. The working group led to the formulation of a resolution in the UN General Assembly to start negotiations in 2017 on a treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons. The resolution passed the UN General Assembly First Committee by a vote of 123-38 with 16 abstentions in November 2016 and was subsequently adopted by the General Assembly as a whole.

Costa Rica’s UN Ambassador Elayne Whyte Gómez (left), president of the UN conference to negotiate a nuclear-weapons ban treaty, chairs a meeting of the conference March 30. Credit: UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

The first negotiating session was held at the UN in New York on March 27-31 with some 130 governments, and dozens of civil society organizations, participating. The president of the negotiations, Ambassador Elayne Whyte Gomez, compiled states' expressed opinions from the first round of negotiations into a draft convention on the prohibition of nuclear weapons issued on May 22 in Geneva. The second and final round of negotiations took place on June 15-July 7 in New York, with participants adopting the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons by a vote of 122-1-1. The Netherlands voted against adoption, and Singapore abstained.

Reactions From the Nuclear-Armed States

Nuclear-weapon states and many NATO members have opposed the initiative from the beginning. Although the United States and the United Kingdom participated in the 2014 Conference on the Humanitarian Impacts of Nuclear Weapons in Vienna, leaders from Washington and the other nuclear-weapon states boycotted the working group sessions and the 2017 treaty negotiations.

These states contend that the treaty will distract attention from other disarmament and nonproliferation initiatives, such as negotiating a fissile material cutoff treaty or ratifying the CTBT. They have expressed concern that the nuclear prohibition treaty could undermine the NPT and the extensive safeguard provisions included therein by giving states the option to "forum shop," or choose between the two treaties.

Arguments for the Treaty From Proponent States

Supporters of the nuclear prohibition treaty argue that it will close a "legal gap" that exists regarding nuclear weapons, which are not expressly outlawed by the NPT even though their use would be contrary to the rules of international law applicable in armed conflict. They argue that the prohibition treaty initiative reinforces the NPT and its Article VI requirement for nuclear disarmament and that it can reduce the salience of nuclear weapons and help prompt more urgent action to reduce nuclear risk and promote disarmament.

Timeline

2010
May 3-28: The final document of the 2010 Review Conference for the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) acknowledges the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons use. 

2013
March 4-5: The first conference on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons use takes place in Oslo, Norway. 

2014
February 13-14: The second conference on the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons use takes place in Nayarit, Mexico.  
December 8-9: The final conference on the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons use takes place in Vienna, Austria.  
December 9: 127 states endorse the Humanitarian Pledge, calling on all NPT states parties to renew their commitment to Article VI of the NPT and to take interim steps to reduce the risk of nuclear use.

2015
October 29: The UN General Assembly First Committee votes 135-12 with 33 abstentions on a resolution to create an Open Ended Working Group to take forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations. 

2016
February 22-26: The first working group to advance multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations meets in Geneva, Switzerland. 
May 2-4 and 9-13: The second working group to advance multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations meets in Geneva, Switzerland.  
August 16-19: The third working group to advance multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations meets in Geneva, Switzerland, approving a final report by a vote of 68-22 with 13 abstentions.  
October 27: The First Committee adopts a resolution to begin negotiations in 2017 on a nuclear prohibition treaty in 2017 on a nuclear prohibition treaty by a vote of 123-38 with 16 abstentions.  
December 23: The General Assembly approves the resolution to begin negotiations on a nuclear prohibition treaty adopted by the First Committee by a vote of 113-35 and 13 abstentions.

2017
March 27-31: The first round of negotiations on a treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons takes place at the United Nations in New York.  
May 22: President Elayne Whyte Gómez presents the first draft text of the treaty at the United Nations in Geneva.
June 15-July 7: The second round of negotiations on a treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons takes place at the United Nations in New York. 
July 7: The treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons is adopted by a vote of 122-1-1. The Netherlands voted against the treaty, and Singapore abstained.
September 20: The TPNW opens for signature in New York. Fifty states signed the treaty and three additional states both signed and ratified it by the day's end.

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The Inter-American Convention on Transparency in Conventional Weapons Acquisitions (IACTCW) At a Glance

Contact: Jeff Abramson, Nonresident Senior Fellow, [email protected]

Updated: September 2016

On November 21, 2002, the Inter-American Convention on Transparency in Conventional Weapons Acquisitions entered into force. Negotiated by the 35-member Organization of American States (OAS)1 and opened for signature in June 1999, the convention is an unprecedented, regional transparency regime that requires its states-parties to annually report on their weapons exports and imports, as well as make timely notifications of their weapons acquisitions, whether imported or produced domestically. Twenty-one countries, including the United States, have signed the convention and seventeen have ratified or acceded to it. (States-parties are in bold and signatories are in italics in footnote 1.)

Terms of the Convention

Annual Reports: No later than June 15 each year, states-parties will submit to the OAS General Secretariat a report on their exports and imports of battle tanks, armored combat vehicles (ACVs), large-caliber artillery, combat aircraft, attack helicopters, warships, and missiles and missile systems. These seven categories mirror those of the voluntary U.N. Register of Conventional Arms, which calls on all countries to annually submit reports on their import and export of these same weapons to the United Nations. In their annual OAS reports, states-parties must identify the type and quantity of weapons transferred and name the exporting or importing country. Additional information, such as the designation or model of the weapon, may be volunteered.

Notification of Acquisitions: No later than 90 days after incorporation of a weapon system into a state-party's armed forces inventory, a notification must be submitted to the OAS General Secretariat. This notification requirement applies to both imported and domestically manufactured weapons in the same seven categories covered by the annual report. The United States, a leading proponent of the convention, had sought inclusion of a provision for advance notification, but Latin American countries objected. States-parties are free to provide advance notification if they choose to do so.

The OAS General Secretariat will transmit the annual reports and notifications received to all states-parties, though the information will not be made publicly available. States-parties are free to consult with each other on the shared information.

Background

The convention grew out of a June 1997 OAS General Assembly resolution calling on members to consider a legal framework for advance notification of arms acquisitions. Shortly thereafter in August 1997, the Clinton administration dropped a two-decade-old policy of "presumption against" the export of advanced weapons to Latin America. This policy change cleared the way for U.S. arms manufacturers to compete for weapons sales to the region. Former President Jimmy Carter and several Latin American heads of state, both past and those in office at the time, criticized the new Clinton arms transfer policy as one that would divert scarce resources from more important government investments, such as education, and lead to increased regional tensions. Since the U.S. policy change, the United States completed a deal to sell 10 F-16 fighter jets to Chile and offered combat aircraft to Brazil. Citing other economic priorities, Brazil postponed in January 2003 a decision on buying fighter jets.

In comparison with other regions, Latin America is a relatively small arms market. The region's arms imports accounted for roughly two to five percent of the world arms market from 1990-2000.

Note
1. The 35 members of the OAS are Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Cuba Costa Rica, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, PeruSt. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, United States, Uruguay, and Venezuela. 

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Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) At a Glance

September 2017

Contact: Jeff AbramsonNon-Resident Senior Fellow for Arms Control and Conventional Arms Transfers, [email protected]

Updated: September 2017

Seeking to restrict or outlaw specific types of weapons used in armed conflict, 51 states negotiated the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) in 1980. The agreement is formally known as the Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May Be Deemed to Be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects. It is also sometimes referred to as the Inhumane Weapons Convention. The convention aims to protect military troops from inhumane injuries and prevent noncombatants from accidentally being wounded or killed by certain types of arms. When it entered into force in December 1983, the treaty applied to incendiary weapons, mines and booby-traps, and weapons designed to injure through very small fragments. Since then, treaty states-parties—numbering 120 total as of August 2017—have added provisions to ban blinding laser weapons and address lingering dangers posed by unexploded munitions leftover after combat ends.

The Convention

The operative provisions of the CCW are contained in several protocols annexed to the convention. States that become CCW members must sign on to at least two of the convention’s protocols, but do not have to become party to all of them. Currently, there are five protocols in force (see below). All states-parties must agree to the addition of a new protocol. Each protocol is only binding on those states-parties that ratify it. 

Initially, the scope of the convention covered only international armed conflicts. However, states-parties amended a single protocol in 1996 to apply to intrastate conflicts and in 2001 elected to extend that modification to the entire convention. Still, the change only applies to those states-parties ratifying the amendment, and it does not automatically extend to new protocols. Henceforth, states-parties must specify whether new protocols they ratify cover intrastate conflicts in addition to interstate wars.

The convention lacks verification and enforcement mechanisms and spells out no formal process for resolving compliance concerns.

A state-party can refute its commitment to the convention or any of the protocols, but it will remain legally bound until one year after notifying the treaty depositary, the UN Secretary-General, of its intent to be free of its obligations.

Protocols to the Convention

Protocol I: Non-detectable Fragments

Protocol I prohibits the use of any weapon designed to wound or kill with small fragments that cannot be detected by x-rays. Conventional x-ray imaging cannot locate small pieces of glass, plastic, or wood lodged in human tissue. This makes it prohibitively difficult for doctors to remove the fragments, effectively preventing victims from receiving necessary treatment.

Amended Protocol II: Landmines, Booby-Traps, and Other Devices

Protocol II, which was amended in May 1996, regulates but does not ban the use of landmines and booby-traps. Anti-personnel landmines (APLs) must be kept in clearly marked and protected minefields or be equipped with self-destruct and self-deactivation mechanisms that disarm and render the mine unusable after a certain period of time. Mines dropped from aircraft or delivered by artillery or missiles must be outfitted with self-destruct and self-deactivation mechanisms. All APLs must further be detectable using common mine detection equipment to enable them to be located and safely removed after a conflict ends. The responsibility for clearing any mines is on the government controlling the territory where the mines are located.

Amended Protocol II entered into force in 1998. The 102 countries bound by the protocol include most of the world’s major current or past landmine producers—China, India, Israel, Pakistan, Russia, and the United States—which have refused to join the Ottawa Convention banning anti-personnel landmines.

Protocol III: Incendiary Weapons

Protocol III regulates the use of weapons designed to set fire to or burn their target. The protocol proscribes targeting civilians with incendiary weapons and restricts the use of air-delivered incendiary weapons against military targets in close proximity to concentrations of noncombatants. It also prohibits parties from targeting forests or other plant cover unless the vegetation is being used to conceal military forces. The protocol only covers weapons created intentionally to set fire or burn, such as flamethrowers. Weapons that ignite fires or burn as a side effect are not subject to the protocol.

Protocol IV: Blinding Lasers

Added in 1996, this protocol prohibits the use of lasers specifically designed to cause permanent blindness. It further obliges states-parties to make every effort to avoid causing permanent blindness through the use of other lasers. While prohibiting the use of blinding lasers, the convention does not rule out their development or stockpiling. However, it does outlaw any trade in such arms.

Protocol V: Explosive Remnants of War

In November 2003, states-parties approved this protocol to deal with unexploded and abandoned ordnance left over after fighting ends—so-called explosive remnants of war (ERW). The protocol, which entered into force Nov. 12, 2006, covers munitions, such as artillery shells, grenades, and gravity bombs, that fail to explode as intended, and any unused explosives left behind and uncontrolled by armed forces. Such weapons pose severe threats to civilians because they could explode without cause or accidentally be triggered to detonate. Like the landmines protocol, the government controlling an area with explosive remnants of war is responsible for clearing such munitions. However, that government may ask for technical or financial assistance from others, including any party responsible for putting the munitions in place originally, to complete the task. No state-party is obligated to render assistance.

Other Issues

CCW states-parties have been unable to reach consensus on starting negotiations on several other matters, including adding a compliance mechanism to better ensure that states-parties live up to their commitments and a provision to ban small-caliber bullets because they can cause major internal injuries by ricocheting or tumbling around inside a body. One controversial issue is whether the body should negotiate on limiting the use of anti-vehicle mines, including requirements that such mines be equipped with self-destruct and self-deactivation mechanisms. Some countries, such as China and Russia, have objected to this proposal.

Frustrated with the CCW process, some treaty members led by Norway in February 2007 launched negotiations outside the CCW to ban cluster munitions “that cause unacceptable harm to civilians.” The Cluster Munitions Convention was adopted in May 2008 and has 102 states-parties as of August 1, 2017. See Cluster Munitions at a Glance for more information. 

Conventional Arms Issues

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UN Security Council Resolution 1540 At a Glance

August 2017

Contact: Kelsey Davenport, Director for Nonproliferation Policy, (202) 463-8270 x102

Updated: August 2017

On April 28, 2004 the UN Security Council unanimously voted to adopt Resolution 1540, a measure aimed at preventing non-state actors from acquiring nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons, their means of delivery, and related materials. The resolution filled a gap in international law by addressing the risk that terrorists might obtain, proliferate, or use weapons of mass destruction.

Adopted under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, UNSCR 1540 formally establishes the proliferation and possession of WMD by non-state actors as “a threat to international peace and security.” The resolution mirrors the approach taken under UNSCR 1373 in 2001, which required all countries to adopt national counter-terrorism laws, and imposes legally binding obligations on all states to adopt "appropriate effective" measures to prevent the proliferation of WMD to non-state actors.

The resolution includes three primary obligations:

  1. All States are prohibited from providing any form of support to non-state actors seeking to acquire weapons of mass destruction, related materials, or their means of delivery.
  2. All States must adopt and enforce laws criminalizing the possession and acquisition of such items by non-state actors, as well as efforts to assist or finance their acquisition.
  3. All States must adopt and enforce domestic controls over nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, their means of delivery, and related materials, in order to prevent their proliferation.

UNSCR 1540 also emphasizes the importance of maintaining and promoting existing non-proliferation multilateral agreements, and acknowledges that the resolution does not interfere with state obligations under such treaties.

It further recognizes that some countries may require assistance to meet the national implementation obligations of the resolution. As such, the resolution calls on states to make assistance available to countries in need if they are in a position to do so.

The council established a committee to oversee the implementation of the resolution, initially for a period of two years. Comprised of the council’s 15 members and assisted by a panel of experts, the 1540 Committee is tasked with providing awareness of the resolution and its requirements, matching assistance requests with offers, and assessing the status of implementation. States were required to report to the Committee on the actions they have taken or plan to take in order to implement the resolution within 6 months of UNSCR 1540’s adoption, and the council has encouraged subsequent reports to provide additional information.

Despite its aim of preventing nuclear, chemical, and biological terrorism, resolution 1540 initially met with some resistance within the UN Security Council, with critics stressing that the resolution focused solely on nonproliferation without adequate emphasis on disarmament.  There was additional concern that the UN might use UNSCR 1540 to justify sanctions and other forms of coercion for countries that did not adequately comply with the resolution.

These worries were generally alleviated, as evidenced by the UN Security Council unanimous vote to extend UNSCR 1540’s mandate, first for two years in 2006 under resolution 1673, then for another three years in 2008 under resolution 1810. In April 2011, the UN Security Council passed resolution 1977, extending the mandate a third time, for a period of ten years. UNSCR 1977 reaffirmed the Security Council’s commitment to resolution 1540, and further emphasized cooperation with international, regional, and sub-regional organizations. It also addressed existing concerns among Council members regarding equal regional representation within the 1540 Committee. In December 2016, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 2325 encouraging states to strengthen their implementation of Resolution 1540. 

 In addition to annual reviews, the 1540 committee conducts comprehensive reviews every five years on the implementation of Resolution 1540. So far, two comprehensive reviews have been completed, one in 2009 and another in 2016. The 2016 comprehensive final review found that while the number of implementation measures states have taken since 2011 has increased, for many states, gaps in the securing of relevant materials remain. The report also noted that the risk of proliferation to non-state actors is increasing due to rapid advances in science, technology and international commerce. 

Research assistance by Kathleen E. Masterson

 

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Nuclear Security Summit at a Glance

August 2017

Contact: Kelsey Davenport, Director for Nonproliferation Policy, (202) 463-8270 x102

Updated: August 2017

The nuclear security summit initiative was announced in an April 2009 speech by U.S. President Barack Obama, in which he pledged to hold a global summit on nuclear security in 2010 as part of an effort to "secure all vulnerable nuclear material around the world within four years.” The broad goal of the summit process is to address the threat of nuclear terrorism by minimizing and securing weapons-usable civilian nuclear materials, enhancing international cooperation to prevent the illicit acquisition of nuclear material by non-state actors such as terrorist groups and smugglers, and taking steps to strengthen the global nuclear security system. The nuclear security summit focus remained on nuclear material in the civil sphere and did not address the security of military nuclear material.

There were four summits in total: in Washington, D.C. in 2010, Seoul, South Korea in 2012, the Hague, Netherlands in 2014 and Washington, D.C. again in 2016.

Each summit produced a consensus communiqué that reaffirmed the broad goals of the summit process and encouraged states to take actions, such as ratifying key treaties or minimizing stockpiles of weapons-usable materials. These voluntary, caveated recommendations were enhanced by individual state-specific commitments made at each summit. These pledges, known as “house gifts,” included actions such as repatriating weapons-usable materials, holding trainings for nuclear security personnel, updating national laws and regulations, and taking steps to combat illicit trafficking. At each subsequent summit, states reported on the progress made toward fulfilling these commitments. All 53 participating states made national pledges at at least one summit.

Beginning at the 2012 summit in Seoul, groups of countries offered multinational commitments, known as “gift baskets” that targeted key areas of nuclear security. In 2012, 13 joint statements were offered. That number increased to 14 in 2014, with some gift baskets building off of 2012 statements and others targeting new areas. In 2016, states produced 21 gift baskets.

Of the 53 countries to participate in the 2012 summit, 48 participated in at least one joint statement in 2012.

At the last summit in 2016, countries agreed to five action plans for international organizations to take forward the work of the summits beyond their conclusion. 

Nuclear Security Summits Quick Links
Washington, 2010 Seoul, 2012Hague, 2014 Washington, 2016

 

Washington 2010

The first Nuclear Security Summit was held in Washington, D.C. from April 12-13, 2010. Forty-seven national delegations as well as the heads of the United Nations, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the European Union attended. With 38 of the 47 participating countries represented at the head of state or head of government level, the gathering was the largest of its kind hosted by a U.S. President since 1945.

The summit produced the first of four communiqués, the summit’s only work plan, and the first national commitments or house gifts.

Communiqué 

  • Recognizes that highly enriched uranium (HEU) and separated plutonium require special precautions and encourages the conversion of reactors from HEU to low enriched uranium (LEU) fuel and minimization of use of HEU, where feasible.
  • Reaffirms the essential role of the International Atomic Energy Agency in the international nuclear security framework and will work to ensure that it continues to have the appropriate structure, resources and expertise to carry out its activities.
  • Recognizes the continuing role of nuclear industry in nuclear security.
  • Supports the implementation of strong nuclear security practices that will not infringe upon the rights of States to develop and utilize nuclear energy for peaceful purposes and technology and will facilitate international cooperation in the field of nuclear security.

Washington Work Plan 

The Work Plan lays out the specific steps for realizing the goals of the Communiqué, including ratification and implementation of international treaties; support for Security Council Resolution 1540; conversion of civilian facilities from HEU to non-weapons-useable materials; research on new nuclear fuels; detection methods and forensic technologies; development of corporate and institutional cultures that prioritize nuclear security; education and training; and joint exercises among law enforcement and customs officials to enhance nuclear detection opportunities.

Selected National Commitments (House Gifts)

Thirty countries announced 67 specific measures they planned to implement to support the goals of the summit. Prior to the 2012 Seoul summit, approximately 80 percent of these commitments were completed. For an accounting of the implementation of the 2010 national commitments, see: The Nuclear Security Summit: Assessment of National Commitments, March 2012.

Some of the national commitments include:

  1. Belgium, Kazakhstan, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway and the United Kingdom will convert a HEU research reactor to LEU.
  2. Canada will return a large amount of spent HEU fuel from their medical isotope production reactor to the United States and fund HEU removals from Mexico and Vietnam.
  3. Kazakhstan, Mexico and Ukraine will eliminate remaining HEU. Ukraine committed to eliminate half of its HEU by the year’s end.
  4. Norway will contribute $3.3 million over the next four years to the IAEA nuclear security fund.
  5. Russia committed to sign the Plutonium Disposition protocol to  end plutonium production and to contribute to IAEA’s Nuclear Security Fund.

See a full list of national commitments here.

  Seoul 2012

From March 26-27, 2012, 53 heads of state along with representatives from the UN, IAEA, EU and INTERPOL gathered for the second nuclear security summit in Seoul, South Korea. Participating countries included the 47 countries that attended the 2010 Nuclear Security Summit plus Azerbaijan, Denmark, Gabon, Hungary, Lithuania, and Romania.

The scope of the 2012 agenda was expanded to include discussions on the security of radiological sources and the interface between nuclear security and safety, a concern highlighted by the March 2011 nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan.

In additional to the consensus communiqué and national commitments, or house gifts, states also introduced joint proposals, or gift baskets for the first time in 2012. All states also submitted voluntary progress reports on their national commitments from 2010.

Communiqué 

  • Reaffirms the fundamental responsibility of States to maintain effective security of all nuclear materials, including through the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM) as amended, and the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism (ICSANT); reiterates broader participation in the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT) and the G8 Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction; continued support of UN Security Council Resolutions 1540 and 1977.
  • Encourages States to minimize the use of HEU, where feasible, and to convert reactors from HEU to LEU fuel; urges states to secure nuclear materials and radioactive materials through proper transportation, accounting, consolidation and storage practices; emphasizes the need to develop national capabilities to combat illicit nuclear trafficking through utilizing nuclear forensics, investing in the promotion of a strong nuclear security culture, and preventing non-state actors from obtaining sensitive information.
  • Encourages efforts to control radioactive material, including through IAEA measures such as the Code of Conduct on the Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources and the Guidance on the Import and Expert of Radioactive Sources.
  • Urges states in a position to do so to accelerate their domestic approval of the 2005 Amendment to the CPPNM, seeking to bring the Amendment into force by 2014
  • Encourages states in a position to do so, by the end of 2013, to announce voluntary specific actions intended to minimize the use of HEU.

Selected Accomplishments

  1. Algeria, Argentina, Mexico, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam joined the GINCT.
  2. Czech Republic, Mexico, Vietnam converted their research reactors using HEU fuel to LEU fuel.
  3. Ukraine completed the removal of all HEU stockpiles.
  4. Kazakhstan secured spent nuclear fuel, which contained enough HEU and plutonium to make several hundred nuclear weapons by moving them to a new long-term storage facility.
  5. Russia and the United States down-blended HEU equivalent to around 3,000 nuclear weapons to LEU. 

Selected National Commitments (House Gifts)

  1. Armenia, Brazil, Canada, France, Georgia, Italy, Malaysia, Morocco, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom and Vietnam committed to ratify the 2005 Amendment to the CPPNM.
  2. Brazil, Chile, Malaysia, Nigeria will establish nuclear security support centers.
  3. Italy will repatriate excess HEU and plutonium to the U.S. by the 2014 summit.
  4. Pakistan will open Nuclear Security Training Centers to act as a regional and international hub and deploy Special Nuclear Material Portals on key exit and entry points to counter the illicit trafficking of nuclear and radioactive materials.
  5. Singapore committed to establish a national nuclear forensics laboratory by 2013.

Joint Commitments (Gift Baskets)

  1. Kazakhstan, Russia and the United States committed to continue to cooperate to secure the former Semipalatinsk test site.
  2. Indonesia and 17 others agreed to draw up a National Legislation Implementation Kit on Nuclear Security to help states align domestic laws with international treaties and regulations that address nuclear security. 
  3. Twenty-three states collaborated to develop International Network for Nuclear Security Training and Support Centres (NSSCs) to develop highly trained nuclear security personnel, and provide technical and scientific support for nuclear security technical systems and to detect nuclear security events. 
  4. France, South Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States agreed to hold working group meetings, the first one in 2013, to address nuclear transport security issues. 
  5. Chile, Nigeria, Morocco, Poland, Republic of Korea, Thailand and the United States hosted regional outreach meetings to discuss nuclear security challenges and promote the continuation of outreach efforts. 
  6. Russia and the United States explained the contributions of the GICNT to nuclear security, including through the creation of the Nuclear Detection Working Group, chaired by the Netherlands. 
  7. Canada, Mexico and the United States announced a collaborative effort to convert Mexico’s research reactor from HEU to LEU. 
  8. Belgium, France, the Republic of Korea and the United States declared a joint project to use high-density LEU fuel production technology to convert research reactors from HEU to LEU. 
  9. Belgium, Canada, France, the Netherlands reaffirmed their commitment to convert “production industries to non-HEU-based processes by 2015, subject to regulatory approvals” and the United States agreed to supply those countries with HEU target material for the “uninterrupted production of medical isotopes... while achieving the goal of HEU minimalization.”
  10. Nineteen states pledged to build national capacities to counter nuclear smuggling, to pass new laws against nuclear smuggling by the 2014 summit, to share information on nuclear smuggling with partner countries and to make resources available for counter smuggling projects. 
  11. Germany and 24 other states described the threat posed by radioactive material and encouraged states to ratify or accede to the ICSANT and establish national registers of high-activity radioactive sources. 
  12. Thirty-one states committed to enhance nuclear information security, including by conducting national assurance exercises, and developing government processes to control the export of nuclear information. 
  13. France, the United States and the United Kingdom committed to“strengthen worldwide preparedness to contend with the threat of nuclear terrorism.” 

For a report on progress on these commitments, see: The Nuclear Security Summit: Progress Report, July 2013.

The Hague 2014

On March 24-25, 2014, all 53 countries and four international organizations who met in 2012 reconvened for the third nuclear security summit in the Hague, Netherlands.

The Netherlands laid out several goals for the summit, including; reducing stockpiles of nuclear materials, improving the security of nuclear and radioactive sources, increasing coordination with the nuclear industry, and improving international cooperation.

Leaders also participated in a scenario-based policy exercise, during which they had the opportunity to think through responses to a radioactive device, and held a discussion on the future of the summit process.

Communiqué 

  • Identifies a range of voluntary measures States may consider taking to show that they have established effective security of their nuclear materials and facilities while protecting sensitive information. Such measures include exchanging good practices, inviting IAEA review and advisory services and following through on recommendations, further developing training of personnel involved in nuclear security.
  • Supports a more intensive dialogue between operators and government bodies, including the national regulator, which should be functionally independent, with a view to improving nuclear security regulations and regulatory effectiveness.
  • Encourages states to take effective risk mitigation measures to ensure that the systems and networks of nuclear facilities are appropriately secured from cyber attack.

Selected Accomplishments

  1. Belgium, Canada, and France completed steps necessary to ratify the 2005 amendment to the CPPNM.
  2. Germany hosted the Wiesabaden Conference in 2012 and 2013 to strengthen the partnership between government and industry. In 2013, the conference focused on UNSCR 1540 implementation.
  3. Italy returned 20 kilograms of HEU and plutonium in coordination with the IAEA and the United Kingdom. 
  4. The United Arab Emirates signed an Integrated master Working Plan with the IAEA to enhance the partnership between the IAEA and the UAE.
  5. The United States and Russia successfully completed the HEU Purchase Agreement under which 500 metric tons of Russian weapons-origin HEU- the equivalent for approximately 20,000 nuclear warheads - was converted into LEU and used in U.S. power reactors to produce 10 percent of all U.S. electricity during the past 15 years.

Selected National Commitments (House Gifts)

  1. Belgium, Italy and Japan made commitments to remove excess HEU and plutonium.
  2. Denmark committed an additional 8 million Danish Krona (about $1.3 million) to the IAEA.
  3. Finland committed to host the next plenary meeting of the GICNT.
  4. Hungary will host an event of the GICNT on nuclear forensics libraries in the fall of 2014 in Budapest.
  5. Poland committed to eliminate the last of its HEU from its territory by 2016.

Joint Statements (Gift Baskets)

The gift baskets from the 2014 summit built on several of the subjects from the 2012 summit. The new gift baskets to the 2014 summit are listed below.

  1. Twelve states marked the elimination of HEU from their borders. 
  2. The Netherlands headed a new gift basket on nuclear forensics, including a platform for sharing best practices in the event of a nuclear or radiological incident. 
  3. Thirty-two states reiterated their support for the full and universal implementation of UNSCR 1540 and agreed to consider hosting regional capacity building events to support UNSCR 1540. 
  4. Thirteen states agreed to participate in a workshop by the next nuclear security summit to detect and remove nuclear and radiological materials that are out of regulatory control from the global supply chain. 
  5. The United States, South Korea, and the Netherlands led a joint statement supported by 32 additional states that committed participants to meet the intent of IAEA recommendations for nuclear security and take further steps to provide assurance of sound nuclear security practices. 

For more information on these commitments see: The Nuclear Security Summit: Assessment of Joint Statements, March 2014.

For a report on progress on these commitments see: The Nuclear Security Summit: Progress Report on Joint Statements, March 2015.

Washington 2016

The fourth and final summit took place in Washington, D.C. from March 31-April 1, 2016. Of the 53 states and four international organizations that attended the 2012 and 2014 summits, all attended except Russia.

For more information, see The Nuclear Security Summit: Accomplishments of the Process, March 2016. 

Communiqué 

  • Welcomes the imminent entry into force of the 2005 Amendment to the CPPNM and Facilities and encourage further ratifications.
  • Seeks to maintain the international network of officials and government experts who have supported the Summit process and to incorporate the broader community of States, as well as encourage the continued engagement of relevant partners in nuclear industry and civil society.
  • Resolves to implement the attached Action Plans, in support of the international organizations and initiatives to which we respectively belong (the United Nations, the IAEA, INTERPOL, the GICNT, and the Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction), to be carried out on a voluntary basis and consistent with national laws and respective international obligations.

Selected Accomplishments

  1. The 2005 amendment to the CPPNM received the necessary ratifications to enter into force. 
  2. China converted a research reactor from HEU to LEU in March 2016.
  3. Egypt held training courses on the security of research reactors and associated facilities.
  4. Georgia:  With the support of the IAEA, adopted an Integrated Nuclear Security Support Plan through 2019.
  5. New Zealand enacted the Radiation Safety Act (2016) to better address the safety of nuclear and radioactive material. 

Selected National Commitments (House Gifts)

  1. Argentina committed to eliminate its HEU, making Latin America and the Caribbean the first regional HEU-free region.
  2. Egypt committed $10 million to establish a nuclear counterterrorism center at the IAEA headquarters in Vienna.
  3. Lithuania committed to welcome the IAEA’s International Physical Protection Advisory Service Mission (IPPAS) in 2017.
  4. Morocco agreed to establish the “Moroccan Agency for Safety and Security in Nuclear and Radiological Fields.”
  5. South Africa committed to finalize the establishment of a nuclear forensics facility. 

Joint Statements (Gift Baskets)

Gift Baskets continued to build on proposals from previous years. For a complete list of 2016 Gift Baskets, see here. Proposals unique to 2016 are listed below.

  1. Seventeen states developed a “Consolidated National Nuclear Security Report” as a suggested reporting template. 
  2. Twenty-nine states agreed to participate in two workshops on cyber security in 2016. 
  3. Twenty-seven states agreed to establish national measure to mitigate insider threats in nuclear and radiological security programs. 
  4. Eighteen states noted the progress on towards establishing an IAEA LEU Bank with Kazakhstan and looked forward to its full-scale implementation.
  5. Twenty-three states committed to improve national detection practices to combat the trafficking of nuclear materials. 
  6. Forty states agreed to establish a Nuclear Security Contact Group and to designate an official to participate in the contact group in order to sustain activity on nuclear security after the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit. 

Action plans

The final nuclear security summit established five action plans for international organizations to take forward the work of the summits.

  1. United Nations Action Plan 
  2. IAEA Action Plan 
  3. International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) Action Plan 
  4. Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT) Action Plan 
  5. Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction Action Plan 
Strategic Arms Control and Policy

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The Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) at a Glance

August 2017

Contacts: Daryl Kimball, Executive Director, (202) 463-8270 x107; Kelsey Davenport, Director for Nonproliferation Policy, (202) 463-8270 x102

Updated: August 2017

Established in 1975, the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) is comprised of 48 states that have voluntarily agreed to coordinate their export controls to non-nuclear-weapon states. The NSG governs the transfers of civilian nuclear material and nuclear-related equipment and technology. The participants are: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

The NSG aims to prevent nuclear exports for commercial and peaceful purposes from being used to make nuclear weapons. In order to ensure that their nuclear imports are not used to develop weapons, NSG members are expected to forgo nuclear trade with governments that do not subject themselves to confidence-building international measures and inspections. The NSG has two sets of Guidelines listing the specific nuclear materials, equipment, and technologies that are subject to export controls.

 

History

Negotiated in 1968, the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) granted non-nuclear-weapon states access to nuclear materials and technology for strictly peaceful purposes.

Recognizing peaceful nuclear programs could turn into weapons programs, several NPT nuclear supplier states sought to determine the conditions for sharing specific equipment and materials with non-nuclear-weapon states. In 1971, these supplier states formed the Zangger Committee in order to require states outside the NPT to institute International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards before importing certain items that could be used to pursue nuclear weapons—referred to as the "Trigger List."

India's explosion of a nuclear device in 1974 reaffirmed the fact that nuclear materials and technologies acquired under the guise of peaceful purposes could be diverted to build weapons. In response to India's action, several Zangger Committee members, along with France—who was not a member of the NPT at that time—established the NSG to further regulate nuclear-related exports. The NSG also added supplemental technologies to the original Zangger Committee's "Trigger List," becoming Part I of the NSG Guidelines. In addition, NSG members agreed to apply their trade restrictions to all states, not just those outside the NPT.

 

Guidelines and Operation

The NSG Guidelines require that importing states provide assurances to NSG members that proposed deals will not contribute to the creation of nuclear weapons. Potential recipients are also expected to have physical security measures in place to prevent theft or unauthorized use of their imports and to promise that nuclear materials and information will not be transferred to a third party without the explicit permission of the original exporter. In addition, final destinations for any transfer must have IAEA safeguards in place. The IAEA is charged with verifying that non-nuclear-weapon states are not illicitly pursuing nuclear weapons. To prevent nuclear material or technology from being stolen or misappropriated for weapons, IAEA safeguards include inspections, remote monitoring, seals, and other measures.

The Guidelines are comprised of two parts, each created in response to significant proliferation events that highlighted shortcomings in the export control systems.

Part I lists materials and technology designed specifically for nuclear use. These include fissile materials, nuclear reactors and equipment, and reprocessing and enrichment equipment. First published in 1978, Part I responded to India's 1974 diversion of nuclear imports for supposedly peaceful purposes to conduct a nuclear explosion. To be eligible for importing Part I items from an NSG member, states must have comprehensive IAEA safeguards covering all their nuclear activities and facilities. In the case of Part II goods, IAEA safeguards are only required for the specific nuclear activity or facility designated for the import.

Part II identifies dual-use goods; non-nuclear items with legitimate civilian applications that can also be used to develop weapons. Machine tools and lasers are two types of dual-use goods. NSG members adopted Part II in 1992 after discovering how close Iraq came to realizing its nuclear weapons ambitions. Iraq had illicitly employed dual-use imports in a covert nuclear weapons program before the 1991 Persian Gulf War.

At a May 2004 meeting, NSG members adopted a "catch-all" mechanism, which authorizes members to block any export suspected to be destined to a nuclear weapons program even if the export does not appear on one of the control lists.

Because the regime is voluntary, NSG members may ultimately make a political calculation to proceed with a transfer that violates the guidelines. For instance, Russia transferred nuclear fuel to India in January 2001 even though 32 of 34 NSG members earlier declared that the shipment would contradict Russia's NSG commitments.

Members are supposed to report their export denials to each other so potential proliferators cannot approach several suppliers with the same request and receive different responses. NSG states are expected to refrain from making exports identical or similar to those denied by other members.

In 2008, the NSG agreed to exempt India from its requirement that recipient countries must have comprehensive IAEA safeguards covering all nuclear activities. The United States pressed for a three-year exemption to allow nuclear trade with India, but some NSG members were reluctant to agree to such a reversal. The waiver commits each NSG member to regularly inform the group of approved transfers to India and invites each country to share information on their bilateral nuclear cooperation agreements with India.

As part of the organization, NSG members periodically review the Guidelines to add new items that pose proliferation risks or to eliminate goods that no longer require special trade controls. An annual plenary, which is chaired on a rotating basis among members, is held to discuss the regime's operation, including possible changes to the Guidelines. All NSG decisions are made by consensus. Members also participate in regular meetings of separate standing bodies—the Dual-Use Consultations and the Joint Information Exchange—devoted to reviewing Part II of the Guidelines and exchanging pertinent information.

The Permanent Mission of Japan to the International Organisations in Vienna serves as the NSG point of contact. It receives and distributes NSG documents, schedules meetings, and assists with other administrative work.

 

Membership

Any state that conducts exports appearing on the Guidelines may apply for NSG membership. A potential member is evaluated on its proliferation record for national export controls and adherence to international nonproliferation treaties and agreements. All existing members must approve an applicant for admittance to the regime. There are several countries with nuclear programs outside the NSG, most notably India, Israel, Pakistan, and North Korea.

In recent years, India has advanced its bid to join the NSG. Although President Barack Obama  expressed support for India’s membership to the NSG in 2010, the group remains divided, in part because, as a non-state-party to the NPT, India doesn’t meet a core criterion for membership.

At the June 2016 NSG meeting, the United States and India pushed for acceptance of India’s bid for membership. All of the participating states, except for China, support allowing  India to join the NSG without signing the NPT. China noted that other non-NPT states in addition to India had expressed desire in joining the NSG, and therefore India should not receive an exclusive exemption. As China’s ambassador to Vienna, Shi Zhongjun, explained in June 2016, as “NPT membership constitutes one of the prerequisite factors for consideration of NSG participation, [m]ore discussions are needed before the Group is in a position to review…participation by any specific non-NPT state at the meetings of the Group.” China’s aim is to define non-discriminatory guidelines for membership that would remove the possibility of political bias.

In response to India’s bid, Pakistan also expressed a desire to join the NSG. On May 20, 2016, Pakistan’s ambassador sent a letter to formally apply for NSG membership, arguing that it also has the credentials to join.

Nuclear/Ballistic Missile Nonproliferation

UN Security Council Resolutions on Iran

August 2017

Contact: Kelsey Davenport, Director for Nonproliferation Policy, (202) 463-8270 x102

Updated: August 2017

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has adopted seven resolutions as part of international efforts to address Iran’s nuclear program, although only one is in effect today. When Iran and the P5+1 reached a comprehensive nuclear deal on July 14, 2015, the UN Security Council endorsed the deal and put in place measures to lift UN sanctions that targeted Iran's nuclear program. The resolution, 2231,retained some restrictions on ballistic missile activities and arms sales. It was passed on July 20, 2015 by a unanimous vote.

The central demand in the first six resolutions was that Iran suspend its uranium enrichment program, as well as undertake several confidence-building measures outlined in a February 2006 International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors resolution - including reconsidering the construction of its heavy-water reactor and ratifying the IAEA Additional Protocol. The council initially laid out these calls in a nonbinding Security Council presidential statement adopted in March 2006. (See ACT, April 2006.)

Almost all the resolutions were adopted under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, making most of the provisions of the resolutions legally binding on Iran, or all UN member states. Four of them included a series of progressively expansive sanctions on Iran and or Iranian persons and entities. The sanctions represented one track in a “dual-track approach” pursued by the permanent five members of the council and Germany (the so-called P5+1), to address Iran’s nuclear program. The other track involved a series of proposals to reach a negotiated settlement. (See History of Proposals on the Iranian Nuclear Issue.) Details on the first six resolutions can be found below the information for Resolution 2231.

UN Security Council Resolutions Quick Links

Resolution 1696 (2006)

Resolution 1737 (2006)

Resolution 1747 (2007)

Resolution 1803 (2008)

Resolution 1835 (2008)

Resolution 1929 (2010)

Resolution 2231 (2015)

Security Council Resolution 2231

On July 20, 2015, the UN Security Council unanimously passed resolution 2231. 

The full text of Resolution 2231 is available here. 

Resolution 2231's Principal Provisions

This resolution endorsed the comprehensive nuclear deal (known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA) reached between Iran and the P5+1 on July 14, 2015, and laid the groundwork for the Security Council to lift nuclear-related sanctions on Iran when Tehran completed key steps under the deal that restricted its nuclear activities. Iran met the requirements in January 16, 2016.

Resolution 2231 retains the arms embargo on Iran for five years after implementation and the sanctions on Iran's ballistic missile program for eight years. Both could be lifted earlier if the IAEA reaches a determination about Iran’s nuclear program known as the Broader Conclusion. These sanctions are "nuclear-related" as they were put in place under Resolution 1929. Iran is also “called upon” not to undertake activities on ballistic missiles designed to be nuclear-capable.

The resolution requests that if states engage in the sale of dual-use materials to Iran, they use the procurement channel application process set up by the JCPOA to regulate Iran's imports of these materials.

Resolution 2231 also requests that the IAEA undertake the necessary monitoring and verification to implement the deal.

Resolution 2231's Monitoring Mechanisms

The resolution also puts in place language laying out the procedure to reimpose UN sanctions.

The Security Council resolution requests reports from the IAEA on implementation of the deal and the agency's efforts to reach a broader conclusion about Iran's nuclear program. The Resolution also requests reports every six months from the UN Secretary General on implementation of Resolution 2231. 

Prior UN Security Council Resolutions

Security Council Resolution 1696

On July 31, 2006, the Security Council adopted Resolution 1696 under Article 40 of the UN Charter. Fourteen countries voted in favor of the resolution; only Qatar voted against it.

The full text of Resolution 1696 is available here.

Resolution 1696’s Principal Provisions

In Resolution 1696, the council called on Tehran to suspend its enrichment program and verify its compliance with the IAEA Board of Governor’s requirements. It encouraged Iran to take these steps as confidence building measures.

The resolution expressed the council’s “intention…to adopt appropriate measures under Article 41 of Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations” if Iran did not cooperate. However, such measures would not be adopted automatically. The resolution underlined that the council must undertake “further decisions…should such additional measures be necessary.”

The first Security Council resolution to address the Iranian nuclear program, Resolution 1696 did not contain sanctions, but was the basis for future sanctions resolutions Specifically it:

  • Demanded that Iran suspend all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, including research and development, to be verified by the IAEA.
  • Called on states to follow their existing domestic law and international law to “exercise vigilance and prevent the transfer of any items, materials, good and technology that could contribute to Iran’s enrichment-related and reprocessing activities and ballistic missile programmes.”

The resolution warned Iran that its failure to comply by August 31, 2006 could result in punitive Security Council measures, such as economic sanctions.

Resolution 1696’s Monitoring Mechanisms

The resolution called for a report from the Director General of the IAEA by August 31 on Iran’s compliance with this resolution.

Security Council Resolution 1737

On December 23, 2006, the Security Council adopted Resolution 1737 unanimously under Article 41 of the UN Charter in response to Iran’s failure to comply with Resolution 1696.

The full text of Resolution 1737 is available here.

Resolution 1737’s Principal Provisions

The resolution echoed the principal provisions of Resolution 1696, requiring Iran to suspend uranium enrichment and reprocessing activities, and to take other confidence-building measures. In addition, Resolution 1737:

  • Obligated Iran to suspend work on its heavy-water reactor projects rather than just reconsider them.
  • Called on Iran to ratify the IAEA’s Additional Protocol.

Resolution 1737’s Sanctions

The resolution imposed sanctions against both the state of Iran and Iranian individuals and entities deemed to be providing support for Iran’s proliferation-related activities.

Resolution 1737 decided that all states should:

  • Prevent the supply, sale, or transfer of designated nuclear and ballistic missile-related goods to Iran to ensure that Iran cannot employ the designated goods in its enrichment-related, reprocessing, or heavy water-related activities, or its development of nuclear weapon delivery systems.
  • Refrain from providing technical or financial assistance, training, or resources related to certain nuclear and ballistic missile-related goods.
  • Refrain from importing designated nuclear and ballistic missile-related items from Iran.

Three provisions in Resolution 1737 targeted Iranian individuals and entities by calling on states to:

  • Exercise vigilance regarding the entry into their territory of individuals engaged in Iran’s nuclear or ballistic missile activities.
  • Freeze the funds, financial assets, and economic resources of designated individuals who are involved with Iran’s nuclear programs.
  • Preventing the “specialized teaching or training of Iranian nationals” of subjects that would enhance Iran’s nuclear goals.

The resolution did permit states to export nuclear and ballistic missile-related goods that are not itemized in the resolution’s control lists if: certain guidelines were followed, end-user controls were put in place, and the 1737 Committee was notified. It was also necessary for states to notify the IAEA to export certain nuclear and ballistic missile-related materials to Iran.

Resolution 1737’s Monitoring Mechanisms

Resolution 1737 set out numerous measures to monitor compliance with the resolution. In paragraph 18 it established a Committee (known as the 1737 Committee) to oversee the implementation of the resolution’s key provisions. A subsequent paragraph required states to furnish reports to the Committee detailing their compliance with the resolution.

In addition, the Director General of the IAEA was required to report to the IAEA Board of Governors and to the Security Council within 60 days of the resolution being issued on whether Iran had suspended its enrichment and heavy water-related activities. The UNSC then reviewed Iran’s actions based on the findings of that report. It was then incumbent upon the council to decide to either suspend or terminate the resolution’s sanctions if Iran complied with them. In the event that Iran had not complied with the sanctions, the Security Council was empowered to adopt further measures as it saw fit.

Security Council Resolution 1747

On March 24, 2007, the Security Council adopted Resolution 1747 unanimously under Article 41 of the UN Charter.

The full text of Resolution 1747 is available here.

Resolution 1747’s Principal Provisions

This resolution was adopted as a result of Iran’s failure to comply with the previous two resolutions. It called on Iran to take the steps required by the IAEA Board of Governors and outlined in Resolution 1737 to verify that its nuclear program has only peaceful purposes. Resolution 1747 also encourages Iran to consider the June 2006 proposals to reach a long-term comprehensive agreement with the P5+1.

Resolution 1747’s Sanctions

The resolution repeated and enhanced some of the key sanctions from Resolution 1737 while also introducing some new measures.

Resolution 1747 enhanced its predecessor’s sanctions by:

  • Calling on states to exercise “restraint” (in addition to the “vigilance” called for in 1737) regarding the entry of persons into their territory associated with Iran’s nuclear program. Resolution 1747 added further names to the list of individuals entering their territory who must be reported to the 1737 Committee.
  • Requiring states to freeze the “funds, other financial assets and economic resources” of 28 additional individuals and entities.
  • Expanding the list of items prohibited for export to or import from Iran to include any arms or related material.

Resolution 1747 also introduced the following new sanctions:

  • Called on states to “exercise vigilance and restraint” in the supply, sale, or transfer of major military weapons systems and related material to Iran, as well as the provision of any technical assistance, financial assistance, or other service related to the provision of these items.
  • Called on states and international financial institutions “not to enter into new commitments for grants, financial assistance, and concessional loans” with the Iranian government unless for humanitarian or developmental purposes.

Resolution 1747’s Monitoring Mechanisms

Like its predecessor, all states were required to report to the 1737 Committee within 60 days of Resolution 1747’s adoption on the steps taken to implement it. Also within 60 days, the Director General of the IAEA was instructed to furnish a report on Iran’s compliance with the resolution to both the IAEA Board of Governors and to the Security Council.

Security Council Resolution 1803

On March 3, 2008, the Security Council adopted Resolution 1803 with 14 of the council’s 15 members voting in favor. Indonesia abstained from the vote stating that it “remain[ed] to be convinced of the efficacy of adopting additional sanctions” against Iran.

The full text of Resolution 1803 is available here.

Resolution 1803’s Principal Provisions

This resolution was adopted as a response to Iran’s decision not to comply with any of the previous resolutions. It reiterates the council’s desire that Iran halt its enrichment program and urges Iran to comply with the IAEA.

Resolution 1803’s Sanctions

Resolution 1803 enhanced the previous sanctions on individuals and entities involved with Iran’s nuclear program by:

  • Augmenting the list of people that states must report to the 1737 Committee if they enter their territory.
  • Requiring states, for the first time, to “prevent the entry into or transit through their territories” of designated individuals involved in pursuing Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
  • Expanding the number of individuals subjected to frozen funds, financial assets, and economic resources.

Resolution 1803 also outlines sanctions that apply directly to the Iranian state, by:

  • Broadening the scope of restrictions on the supply, sale, or transfer of nuclear and ballistic missile-related items to Iran established in Resolution 1737 and setting down new provisions to prevent Iran from developing its nuclear program.
  • Calling on states to be vigilant “in entering new commitments for public provided financial support for trade with Iran,” lest such support be used by Iran to pursue its nuclear weapons ambitions.
  • Calling on states to “exercise vigilance over the activities of financial institutions in their territories with all banks domiciled in Iran,” to prevent such activities from enhancing Iran’s nuclear program.
  • Calling on states to inspect cargo going to or from Iran on aircraft and vessels owned or operated by Iran Air Cargo and Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Line, where they have reasonable grounds for suspecting the cargo consists of goods prohibited under resolutions 1737, 1747, or 1803.

Resolution 1803’s Monitoring Mechanisms

Like its predecessors, Resolution 1803 set out a number of reporting mechanisms that states and the Director General of the IAEA were to fulfill to monitor compliance with this resolution. Echoing previous resolutions, Resolution 1803 required states to file reports with the 1737 Committee within 60 days of being issued, detailing the steps taken to implement the resolution.

It also requested the Director General of the IAEA to submit a report to the IAEA Board of Governors and to the Security Council within 90 days of the resolution’s adoption, stating the extent to which Iran had complied with Resolutions 1737, 1747 and 1803. Upon receiving the Director General’s report, the Security Council was empowered to suspend, terminate or extend the sanctions in place against Iran as deemed appropriate.

Resolution 1803 extended the 1737 Committee’s scope from overseeing the implementation of only Resolution 1737 to also overseeing the implementation of Resolutions 1747 and 1803. 

This resolution also introduced a requirement that states must report to the Security Council when they inspect the cargo of an Iranian aircraft or vessel. The report must be filed within five working days of the inspection and it must detail “the grounds for the inspection, as well as information on its time, place circumstances, results and other relevant details.”

Security Council Resolution 1835

Resolution 1835 was unanimously adopted on September 27, 2008.

The full text of Resolution 1835 is available here. 

Resolution 1835’s Principal Provisions

In contrast to its predecessors, Resolution 1835 was not adopted under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, nor did it set out new provisions that Tehran was required to comply with. Instead, it simply reaffirmed the four previous resolutions, as well as a statement made by the Security Council’s President on March 29, 2006. It then reaffirmed the council’s commitment “to an early negotiated solution to the Iranian nuclear issue.”

Resolution 1835’s Sanctions

This resolution did not outline new sanctions against Iran.

Resolution 1835’s Monitoring Mechanisms

This resolution did not outline new monitoring mechanisms.

Security Council Resolution 1929

On June 9, 2010, the Security Council adopted Resolution 1929, with 12 countries voting in favor, Brazil and Turkey voting against, and Lebanon abstaining.

The full text of Resolution 1929 is available here.

Resolution 1929’s Principal Provisions

The resolution reiterated the UNSC’s demands from previous resolutions that Iran halt all enrichment activity and other activities related to nuclear weapons development.

Resolution 1929’s Sanctions

This resolution, the sixth round of sanctions against Iran, included:

  • Banning Iran from investing in nuclear and missile technology abroad, including investment in uranium mining. 
  • Establishing a complete arms embargo on Iran, banning the sale of “battle tanks, armoured combat vehicles, large calibre artillery systems, combat aircraft, attack helicopters, warships, missiles or missile systems” to Iran.
  • Prohibiting Iran from undertaking any activity related to ballistic missiles. The resolution requires states to take necessary measures to prevent technology relevant to ballistic missiles from reaching Iran.  It also updates the list of items banned for transfer to and from Iran. 

Resolution 1929 also subjected Iran to a new inspection regime designed to detect and stop Iranian smuggling.  States are:

  • Called upon to inspect vessels on their territory that are suspected of carrying Iranian prohibited cargo, and are expected to comply with these rules on the high seas, including disposing of confiscated Iranian prohibited cargo. 
  • Required to refuse services to ships that are not in compliance with these sanctions.

Lastly, this resolution included financial sanctions targeting Iran’s ability to finance proliferation activities by:

  • Subjecting three companies related to the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines, 15 IRGC-related companies and 40 other Iranian companies to an asset freeze.

Further, states were:

  • Requested to report any circumventing of sanctions by Iran. 
  • Required to obligate their citizens and corporations to “exercise vigilance” when doing business with Iran or Iranian entities that contribute to proliferation efforts. 
  • Called upon to limit their interactions with Iranian financial institutions.

Resolution 1929’s Monitoring Mechanisms

Resolution 1929 requested that the Secretary-General create a panel of eight experts to “assist the Committee in carrying out its mandate” and “make recommendations on actions the Council, or the Committee or State, may consider to improve implementation of the relevant measures.”

It “urge[d]” states and relevant UN bodies to comply with the recommendations of the Panel of Experts and “call[ed] upon” states to submit a report 60 days after the adoption of the resolution on how they plan to comply with the sanctions regime.  It also requested a report within 90 days of the resolution’s adoption from the IAEA on whether Iran had complied with the demands of this and previous resolutions.

Strategic Arms Control and Policy

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