Nuclear-Free Zones in the 1990s
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IR Working Paper 1993/10
Andrew Mack, ‘Nuclear-Free Zones in the 1990s’, IR Working Paper 1993/10, Canberra: Department of International Relations, Research School of Pacific Studies, Australian National University, December 1993.
This paper examines the case for nuclear-free zones (NFZs) as security enhancing measures in the 1990s. It examines the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone (SPNWFZ) treaty, which has been in place since 1985, and the role that the SPNFZ has played as a precedent and model for the Southeast Asian and African Nuclear Free Zone proposals. The paper argues that, due in large part to the end of the Cold War, the prospects for both the African and Southeast Asian zone proposals are good. The Korean denuclearisation agreement of December 1991 is also examined and the reasons for its failure to be implemented are discussed. The paper concludes by arguing that the reasons for supporting NFZs in the 1990s are the same as the reasons the US rejected them in the 1970s. NFZs help to delegitimise ‘nuclearism’; as such they help to sustain and enhance the global norm of non-proliferation.