Disarmament & non-proliferation

 

Belgium considers international security as one and indivisible.

Belgium is in favor of a global approach and balanced progress in the field of disarmament and non-proliferation, with focused attention on both conventional weapons and weapons of mass destruction.

In short, by proliferation we mean the spread of weapons, and by disarmament the effective elimination of them. Prevention and arms control are important in order to respond to a variety of current threats, such as:

  • the development of nuclear programs for military purposes
  • the use of chemical weapons in certain conflict zones
  • the humanitarian impact of the use of conventional weapons

The export of weapons and dual use goods is subject to control. This is done to prevent civilian goods from being used for weapon production or weapons being used to violate human rights.

The diagram below gives a concise presentation of the dimensions of disarmament and non-proliferation. For more information and explanation about the Belgian approach, you can click on the following links:

 
Scheme
 Click to enlarge (PDF, 47.6 KB)

 

The role of the European Union

Regional instability and conflict situations often lie at the heart of armament programs. The EU can play an important mitigating role through the use of its conflict prevention and management tools. EU action also increases the impact and visibility of our national efforts.

The EU recently adopted a new strategy on illicit firearms, small arms and light weapons. The EU also has a strategy on weapons of mass destruction, adopted in 2003.

The “non-proliferation clause” must be included in any mixed treaty between the EU and a third country. This clause commits the signatory parties to comply with their non-proliferation obligations.

The EU regularly undertakes targeted demarches on disarmament and non-proliferation, inter alia to persuade third countries to accede to important arms control agreements such as the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty and the Chemical Weapons Convention.