Our Nuclear Future: Hanging Together or Hanging Separately?

Published: 2006    |    By: Paul Heinbecker    |    Volume 63, No. 4


The evident nuclear weapons ambitions of North Korea, the alleged aspirations of Iran and the still-to-be-ratified US-Indian agreement on nuclear cooperation raise major questions about the continuing viability of the ACD treaty regime. Meanwhile, rising oil prices and deepening climate change are renewing interest in nuclear energy on the part of some countries who had renounced the option and others who had never aspired to it, raising in the process all the old unanswered safety, security and environmental questions and some new ones as well. The entire regime is, thus, in jeopardy precisely when events suggest it needs innovation and reinforcement. It can be made to work but that will require greater recognition of common interest and shared fate in major world capitals, especially Washington, than has been evident so far.

About the Author

Paul Heinbecker is Distinguished Fellow, International Relations, at the Centre for International Governance Innovation, Waterloo, and Director of the Centre for Global Relations at Wilfrid Laurier University. He served as Canada’s Ambassador to the United Nations (2000-2003). This paper does not necessarily reflect the views of these institutions.