The relationship between nuclear disarmament and peace is close but uneasy. On the one hand, nuclear weapons are indiscriminate implements of mass killing, developed to destroy whole cities. Nuclear disarmament is by many viewed as a prerequisite of peace in both the positive and negative senses of the term. But on the other hand, some argue that the prospect of a devastating nuclear conflict is precisely the reason major powers have not waged war on each other since 1945. Nuclear weapons, in this view, foster peace. These conflicting understandings of the relationship between nuclear weapons and peace have both found expression in the institutional and legal framework for nuclear arms control and disarmament. In recent years, non-nuclear-weapon states and civil society actors have sought to resolve the apparent contradictions of the nuclear regime by bringing into force a treaty unequivocally prohibiting nuclear weapons.
Gro Nystuen and Kjølv Egeland
This chapter evaluate the potential of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) to reduce violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law. The chapter assesses the process and outcome of the negotiations of the ATT, the first international instrument that makes an explicit link between arms export and its potential consequences in terms of violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law. The authors present the negotiation history of the ATT, comparing it to other recent treaty negotiations within humanitarian disarmament, and discuss the association between international law and peace studies. The main aim of the chapter is to present the ATT’s provisions for regulating in which situations arms exports will be prohibited.