Columbia International Affairs Online: Policy Briefs

CIAO DATE: 06/2012

Southeast Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone and the Nuclear-Weapon States

Peter Crail, Xiaodon Liang

February 2012

East-West Center


Following a decade-long impasse, the Southeast Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone (SEANWFZ) is finally on a path to being endorsed by the world’s five recognized nuclear-weapon states—China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Agreement by these nuclear powers to respect the prohibition of nuclear weapons in Southeast Asia and to provide legal assurances that they will not use such weapons against zone members helps to strengthen the commitment by regional states not to pursue nuclear weapons, and contributes more broadly to global nonproliferation and disarmament efforts.