Arms control, disarmament, and non-proliferation tools have been developed to secure dual-use equipment and materials. Arms control, disarmament, and non-proliferation have traditionally been the subject of agreements designed by and for countries. Yet, these agreements have also been aimed at restricting non-state-actor access to weapons-related technologies, such as those associated with nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons (the supplying of proxy forces with conventional weapons is still subject to differences of opinion). The diffusion of dual-use technology suitable for both peaceful and violent aims has lowered barriers to accessing weapons-related technologies. This increases the risk of the development and use of weapons of mass destruction and cyber weapons by terrorist groups or criminals. One way to address this trend has been through measures such as those initiated by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to build member-state capacity to prevent and respond to chemical terrorism. In addition, new arms control, disarmament, and non-proliferation tools have been developed to secure dual-use equipment and materials. UN Security Council Resolution 1540, which was adopted in 2004, obligates states to take measures to prevent non-state actors from developing, acquiring, or using nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons and their means of delivery. The diffusion of dual-use technology has also created an increasingly prominent role for the private sector in disarmament, arms control, and non-proliferation processes and regimes. The involvement of more actors makes for a greater diversity of perspectives, which can produce better solutions to security challenges and optimize national measures to implement WMD-related treaties. For this reason, the OPCW has established a partnership with the chemical industry and Open-Ended Working Group processes, designed to address security threats in realms such as space and cyber security - while explicitly including a role for the private sector, particularly for elements related to the development, management, and operation of related infrastructure. This inclusion is essential for optimizing measures designed to manage threats and build compliance coalitions. However, including more perspectives and interests can also make reaching agreement on particular issues more complicated; for example, in negotiations related to instruments designed to control conventional arms, there have been wide-ranging discussions about whether non-state actors can legitimately hold weapons. UN Security Council Resolution 2370, adopted in 2017, obliges states to take measures to prevent terrorist groups from acquiring small arms and light weapons, uncrewed systems, and improvised explosive device components.
Non-State Actors and Disarmament