Verification and Monitoring
The Verification and Monitoring Programme identifies and develops verification and monitoring solutions to enable countries to work together confidently when tackling challenging international issues. These challenges include nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, the development and use of chemical weaponry, and the dual-use risks of a rapidly developing biotech industry. They also include widespread access to conventional weapons through illicit transfers, terrorism and instability caused by fighting, natural resource stress and disease.
Research and implementation activities are focused on:
- Verification and monitoring of nuclear materials;
- Verification and monitoring of the environment and sustainable development;
- Verification and monitoring of conventional as well as cyber-weapons;
- Verification and monitoring of chemical weapons precursors; and
- Verification and monitoring of human, animal and plant pathogens and toxins.
National Implementation Measures
To give effect to international arms control and non-proliferation instruments, States must bring their domestic law into conformity with their obligations under international law. The need to implement national measures was also highlighted by the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 1540 (UNSCR 1540) in April 2004. This resolution obliges States to enact and enforce effective laws and supporting measures to prevent the proliferation of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, related materials and their means of delivery and to prohibit non-State actors, especially terrorists, from developing and using such weapons.
The NIM Programme also provides cost-free assistance to interested States for adherence to and implementation of certain CBRN treaties and related legal instruments. This includes universality workshops, reviewing and commenting on existing draft legislation or providing assistance in the drafting of new laws during workshops in capitals.
The programme is conducting research and implementation assistance in:
- the Biological Weapons Convention;
- the Chemical Weapons Convention;
- the international instruments to secure nuclear and other radioactive material; and
- UNSCR 1540.
Impartial, legally sound analysis of under which conditions state behaviour is lawful is vital for a sound understanding of international relations. Compliance questions have both transnational and national aspects.
On the international level, a compliance question involves asking whether an act by a government is compliant with its international undertakings in particular, or international law in general. On the national level, questions arise whether subjects are acting in compliance with both domestic and international rules and (if noncompliance is determined) whether states are accountable for their or their nationals' actions.
VERTIC is establishing a Compliance programme in 2016. It will undertake projects designed to assess the overall strength of compliance with international agreements. It will focus on agreements concerning: nuclear materials; biological weapons and materials; chemical weapons; conventional arms and cyber-weapons; and the environment.