from International Institutions and Global Governance Program

The Proliferation Security Initiative

Lessons for Using Nonbinding Agreements

July 20, 2011


More on:

Nonproliferation, Arms Control, and Disarmament

International Organizations

Treaties and Agreements


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.