Defining Remote Warfare: Cyber
This paper attends to cyberwar and investigates how cyber could fit into traditional understandings of military doctrine and strategy. It discusses the treatment of cyber in the military doctrines of the permanent members of the UN Security Council. It then examines the opportunities and barriers posed by the integration of cyber capabilities into national deterrence strategies.
The paper is available on the Oxford Research Group’s website.
You can also download it from our website here.
Biological Weapons Convention: Report on National Implementing Legislation
Cyberspace: an assessment of current threats, real consequences and potential solutions
Leaders across the globe have identified cyber attacks as one of the greatest threats facing developed nations. The rising importance of cyber security issues is also part of a global trend of moving towards ‘remote control’ warfare, that minimizes engagement and risk while extending its reach beyond conflict zones, for example through drone strikes. This paper seeks to examine the role of cyber attacks in remote control warfare, and considers the potential impact of cyber attacks on civilian populations and on future international stability.
The October 2014 report is available in full here.
Indonesia-VERTIC: National Legislation Implementation Kit on Nuclear Security
The ‘National Legislation Implementation Kit on Nuclear Security’ was presented by the Government of Indonesia to the third Nuclear Security Summit (NSS III) in The Hague during 24-25 March 2014. The Kit has two objectives: 1) to help States develop comprehensive national legislation on nuclear security, in accordance with their own respective legal cultures and internal legal processes; and 2) to provide States with references to a wide array of consolidated elements and provisions contained in relevant international legal instruments and guidance documents that together establish the global framework for nuclear security.
Illicit Trafficking of Nuclear and other Radioactive Material: The Legislative Response
This report represents the outcome of research conducted by VERTIC into the international legal framework currently in place to address the illicit trafficking of nuclear and other radioactive material. This research has aimed to identify what activities are covered by existing prohibitions. In doing so, it intends to provide a clear overview of the current state of legal instruments underpinning the fight against illicit trafficking of these materials.
The April 2012 report is available in full here.
Irreversibility in Nuclear Disarmament: Practical steps against nuclear rearmament
The aim of this study, which has been funded by the Swiss government, is to examine and develop the concept of irreversibility as it relates to nuclear disarmament. While the word irreversibility is becoming increasingly used in discussions over nuclear disarmament, its meaning in this particular context remains largely undefined and understudied. In particular, the kind of specific steps that would need to be taken to arrive at a level of disarmament irreversibility have hitherto not been given much consideration.
The September 2011 report is available in full here.
CTBT Occasional Papers
VERTIC Occasional Papers no. 1, December 2009
Edward Ifft, On-site Inspections under the 1996 Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT): Modalities
VERTIC Occasional Papers no. 2, December 2009
Edward Ifft, On-site Inspections under the 1996 Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT): Technical Considerations
VERTIC Occasional Papers no. 3, June 2010
Victor Slipchenko, Russia, Ratification and the CTBT’s Entry Into Force
VERTIC Occasional Papers no. 4, July 2010
Jeffrey Lewis, The CTBT: Prospects for Entry into Force
VERTIC’s Legislative Guide to National Implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1540 (2004)
VERTIC’s ‘Legislative Guide to National Implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1540 (2004)’ was developed as guidance for States when they are engaged in the process of implementing UNSCR 1540. It identifies and organizes in one document the model laws, implementation kits and handbooks that have already been developed by VERTIC, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and other organisations to assist States in implementing the legal instruments to prohibit and prevent the proliferation of biological, chemical and nuclear weapons and related materials.
VERTIC’s Sample Act for National Implementation of the 1972 Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention and Related Requirements of UN Security Council Resolution 1540
VERTIC’s ‘Sample Act’ was developed to assist countries in drafting legislation to implement the 1972 Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention and the biological weapons-related provisions of UN Security Council Resolution 1540. It is a tool which legislative drafters may freely use, while taking into consideration their country’s legal framework, level of biotechnological development, and other national circumstances.
Regulatory Guidelines for National Implementation of the 1972 Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention and Related Requirements of UN Security Council Resolution 1540
VERTIC has developed these ‘Regulatory Guidelines’ as guidance for States when they are engaged in the process of preparing any regulatory and administrative measures that may be necessary to supplement their primary legislation for national implementation of the 1972 Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BWC), as well as the biological weapons-related provisions of UN Security Council Resolution 1540. These Guidelines are not a set of model regulations, but rather suggestions, tips and links to examples of best practices, which States are free to review and utilize, taking into account their own legal framework and traditions, level of biotechnological development and other national circumstances. Regulations take time and care to develop and users of these Guidelines may wish to prioritise certain regulations over others starting with, for example, establishing a Responsible Authority.
VERTIC fact sheets on national implementing measures for CBRN treaties and related legal instruments
VERTIC has published thirteen fact sheets to raise States’ awareness of the importance of national implementing measures for the major CBRN treaties and related legal instruments. The first highlights why national implementation of international agreements is important. The other fact sheets provide basic facts about, and guides to the national implementation measures that may be required, for specific treaties and related legal instruments.
Fact sheet 1
Why and what to implement? Ensuring effective national laws on nuclear, biological and chemical weapons
Fact sheet 2
National implementation measures for the 1963 Partial Test Ban Treaty (PTBT)
Fact sheet 3
National implementation measures for the 1996 Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) Fact sheet 4
National implementation measures for the 1980 Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM) Arabic, English, French, Russian, Spanish
Fact sheet 7
National implementation measures for the 1972 Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction (BWC)
Arabic, English, French, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish
Fact sheet 8
National implementation measures for the 1993 Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction (CWC)
Arabic, English, French, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish Fact sheet 9
Verifiable Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament Fact sheet 10
National Authority for the Biological Weapons Convention
Arabic, English, French, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish Fact sheet 11 International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism Arabic, English, French, Russian, Spanish Fact sheet 12 Code of Conduct on the Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources Arabic, English, French, Russian, Spanish Fact sheet 13 National Implementation Measures for the IAEA Additional Protocol Arabic, English, French, Russian
ICRC-VERTIC: ‘A Model Law: The Biological and Toxin Weapons Crimes Act’ (2005)
This model legislation has been drawn up jointly by the ICRC and VERTIC. The proposed model law is intended for States with a common law legal tradition. There are many ways in which the obligations inherent in the BWC and the 1925 Geneva Protocol may be implemented, and this model law provides but one possible approach. Some States may feel that they do not need all the elements it contains and may wish to choose those appropriate to their needs.The main emphasis in this model law is placed on the prohibition, backed up by penal sanctions, of the weapons and acts defined in the 1972 Convention.
The book was intended to aid delegates to the Sixth Review Conference of the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) and thus contribute to a constructive and successful outcome. The conference was held 20 November-8 December 2006 in Geneva, Switzerland.
The book contains official documents and other texts relating to the biological weapons regime, including:
- official BWC documents (such as the Final Documents from the previous five Review Conferences);
- documents from the United Nations, other international organisations and regional organisations;
- documents from informal instruments and arrangements; and
- supporting material from various non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
The book was a joint publication of the British American Security Information Council (BASIC), the Harvard-Sussex Program and VERTIC. It can be accessed above or online from the websites of our two co-publishers. BASIC, HSP and VERTIC are grateful to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands for funding the book.
National measures to implement WMD treaties and norms
VERTIC’s third paper for the WMD Commission (WMDC) ‘National measures to implement WMD treaties and norms: the need for international standards and technical assistance’ was published as Report No. 32 in 2005. The study, written by Andreas Persbo and Angela Woodward, examines international obligations to implement national measures governing nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, related materials and delivery systems. It outlines the status of best practice guidance for the adoption and enforcement of national measures and considers the difficulties in assessing the present state of implementation, enforcement and availability of technical assistance. It concludes by offering some thoughts on means to improve national implementation and compliance with WMD obligations.
Verifying European Union Arms Embargoes
VERTIC’s study on monitoring EU and UN arms embargoes, written by VERTIC consultant Vanessa Shields, was commissioned by the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR). It contributes to a larger UNIDIR project for the European Commission on ‘European Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons and Explosive Remnants of War’.
Enhancing BWC Implementation: A Modular Approach
VERTIC’s second paper for the WMD Commission (WMDC) sets out a range of possible mechanisms that could be established or enhanced to fulfil BW verification and implementation tasks. Written by Trevor Findlay and Angela Woodward, the study was published by the Commission as Report no. 23 in October 2004.
WMD Verification & Compliance: The State of Play
VERTIC’s first paper for the WMD Commission (WMDC) covered the principal WMD agreements and the status of their monitoring, verification and compliance arrangements. It was commissioned by the Canadian Department for Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) and formed part of Canada’s contribution to the Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission (WMDC), also known as the Blix Commission. The WMDC published it as Report no. 19 in October 2004.
Time to lay down the law: national laws to enforce the BWC
This is the final report of VERTIC’s project surveying the status of national implementation legislation in all 151 states parties to the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC). VERTIC’s survey focused primarily (although not exclusively) on national legislation to enforce the treaty’s core prohibitions, specifically those in Article 1 relating to the requirement never to develop, produce, stockpile or otherwise acquire or retain biological weapons.
This report, written by Angela Woodward, was released at the BWC Meeting of States Parties held in Geneva from 10-14 November 2003. The first part describes the survey method, presents the results with regard to the status of national legislation adopted, and provides comparative analysis of the various ways in which this legislation has dealt with the treaty provisions. An indicative, but unattributed, list of reasons given by states parties for their failure to adopted national legislation is also included. The second part contains recommendations for strengthening national implementation legislation by establishing avenues for states parties to share their understanding and experiences and to provide each other with assistance.
A guide to verification for environmental agreements
This pamphlet introduces the concepts of monitoring, verification and compliance as applied to environmental agreements. The roles of governments, treaty bodies, other international organisations, the scientific community, non-governmental organisations and the corporate sector are highlighted, with examples of each type of participation given. Two brief cases studies illustrate how reporting, assessing compliance and enforcement work under the 1973 Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and the 1997 Kyoto Protocol of the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Handbook on Verification and Compliance
Published by VERTIC and UNIDIR, June 2003.
For more information, e-mail Angela Woodward at VERTIC or Steve Tulliu at UNIDIR.
VERTIC and UNIDIR, the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research, have produced a handbook to assist negotiators in devising verification and compliance systems for arms control and disarmament agreements. The Handbook provides a wealth of models and previous experience to draw on in developing appropriate and effective monitoring, verification and compliance systems. It includes agreements, terms and in-depth analyses and will interest the expert and the layperson alike.
The book is designed to be useful both globally and regionally. Written with the Middle East in mind, where arms control will be an essential component in the regional peace process, it is published in back-to-back English and Arabic format. Click here for the English version, here for the Arabic version and here for the French version.
A guide to fact-finding missions under the Ottawa Convention
Published by VERTIC in January 2003.
For more information, e-mail Angela Woodward.
The 1997 Ottawa Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-personnel Mines and On Their Destruction envisages mechanisms for resolving concerns relating to compliance with the treaty. These mechanisms, detailed in Article 8, include dispatching a fact-finding mission to gather information.
This guide is intended to assist States Parties in preparing for such a fact-finding mission. It provides information on when and how fact-finding missions may be initiated and organised and suggests activities that States Parties may wish to carry out before, during and after a fact-finding mission. It should be of use to international and national officials responsible for implementation of the Ottawa Convention, as well as others in the landmine ban community.
Getting verification right: proposals for enhancing implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention
Published by VERTIC in September 2002.
For more information, e-mail Angela Woodward
The 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), which bans the acquisition of chemical weapons, reaffirms the ban on their use and seeks the destruction of existing stocks, entered into force in 1997. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which was set up to help implement the treaty, has major achievements to its credit. But it has recently run into difficulties in fulfilling its mandate. For their part States Parties have not always fulfilled their legal obligations to support and comply with the treaty.
In April–May 2003 the States Parties to the treaty will hold their first Review Conference to examine implementation of the CWC to date. This report is intended to stimulate thinking among States Parties and in the OPCW’s Secretariat prior to and during that review process. It examines key areas of the OPCW’s performance, as well as that of States Parties in supporting the Convention, and makes recommendations for change and reform. The report is based on research for VERTIC by consultant Joan Link.
A guide to verification for arms control and disarmament
Published by VERTIC and UNA-UK in July 2002.
For more information, e-mail Angela Woodward.
A pamphlet explaining the basics of arms control and disarmament verification produced in 2002 in cooperation with the United Nations Association of the United Kingdom.
Guide to reporting under Article 7 of the Ottawa Convention
Published by VERTIC in September 2001.
For more information, e-mail Angela Woodward.
The 1997 Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-personnel Mines and On Their Destruction (Ottawa Convention) requires States Parties to report on their activities in implementing the Convention under nine categories specified in Article 7. This guide is designed to assist States Parties in meeting this legal obligation, as well as any voluntary reporting they may wish to make. It aims to promote clear and full reporting, thereby reinforcing the transparency of State Party compliance.
This guide illustrates best practice for completing the Article 7 report forms, including recommendations on the type, format and amount of information that should be provided. It should be of use to officials completing the forms and to those assembling the necessary information.
Final Report, Independent Commission on the Verifiability of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty
Published by VERTIC in November 2000.
For more information, e-mail Angela Woodward.
The Independent Commission on the Verifiability of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) was established in August 2000. The CTBT, opened for signature in 1996, bans all nuclear test explosions in all environments. The Commission’s mandate was to assess the CTBT’s verifiability, both currently, in terms of the existing capabilities available to the international community, and in future, once the complete array of capabilities envisaged in the Treaty is fully functioning. In addition to considering the Treaty’s International Monitoring System, the Commission was tasked with assessing the contribution to verifiability of on-site inspections, confidence-building measures, so-called national technical means, and the scientific communities. Finally, it was asked to evaluate the possibilities for evading the verification system and potential responses to such scenarios.
The Commission comprised 14 internationally eminent scientists and experts, representing a wide range of expertise and backgrounds, acting in their personal capacities. It convened in London on 26–27 October 2000 to complete the Final Report and to hear presentations by the Commissioners. Their papers, together with external submissions, are published separately as an Annex to the Final Report.