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The Proliferation Security Initiative

Lessons for Using Nonbinding Agreements


The Proliferation Security Initiative - the-proliferation-security-initiative

Publisher Council on Foreign Relations Press

Release Date July 2011

24 pages


The ongoing nuclear crises in Iran and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and the threat of terrorist groups using weapons of mass destruction demonstrate the nuclear nonproliferation regime's difficulty in dealing with noncompliance and preventing the illicit use of dual-use materials. To address these weaknesses, the United States established the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) as an innovative and effective approach to interdict the shipment of WMD parts and materials for illicit purposes. In this Working Paper from the International Institutions and Global Governance program, Emma L. Belcher recommends strengthening the PSI and adopting its model for other agreements in order to advance U.S. interests in preventing proliferation and provide a useful framework to mobilize international action on important global issues.

More About This Publication

Emma L. Belcher wrote this paper while she was a Stanton nuclear security fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. She is currently a program officer at the MacArthur Foundation. The views expressed herein are solely her own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the MacArthur Foundation.

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