Prospects for the Future

  • Graham S. Pearson
Part of the Global Issues Series book series (GLOISS)


There have been immense developments over the two decades since chemical weapons were first used in the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s. Today we live in a very different world. The Cold War has come to an end and there is now much cooperation across Europe and Russia. The invasion of Kuwait by Iraq in 1990 raised the world’s awareness of the real dangers posed by the possible use of chemical and biological weapons by Iraq against the coalition forces. Following the war, UNSCOM despite the intransigence of Iraq successfully demonstrated the magnitude of the Iraqi offensive chemical and biological weapons programmes and oversaw the destruction of such stockpiles and capabilities and the introduction of ongoing monitoring and verification in Iraq. There were high hopes in the early 1990s for a new world order of peace and stability. This was underlined through the Security Council meeting for the first time at Heads of State and Heads of Government level in January 1992 to consider ‘The responsibility of the Security Council in the maintenance of international peace and security’ which agreed1 that:

The members of the Council underline the need for all Member States to fulfil their obligations in relation to arms control and disarmament; to prevent the proliferation in all its aspects of all weapons of mass destruction; … They emphasize the importance of the early ratification and implementation by the States concerned of all international and regional arms control agreements, …

The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction constitutes a threat to international peace and security. The members of the Council commit themselves to working to prevent the spread of technology related to the research for or production of such weapons and to take appropriate action to that end.

In conclusion, the members of the Security Council affirm their determination to build on the initiative of their meeting in order to secure positive advances in promoting international peace and security. … The members of the Council agree that the world now has the best chance of achieving international peace and security since the foundation of the United Nations.


Security Council State Parti Mass Destruction Chemical Weapon Biological Weapon 
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Copyright information

© Graham S. Pearson 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Graham S. Pearson
    • 1
  1. 1.University of BradfordUK

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