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3 years ago

Address by Dr Trevor Findlay, Director of the - Carleton University

Address by Dr Trevor Findlay, Director of the - Carleton University

But enough

But enough of Rumsfeldian studies 1A. If anyone is still in doubt about the need forresearch on compliance issues, they need only read the latest report on compliance by theCarnegie Endowment for International Peace. It is 200 pages long and it only deals withnuclear weapons.Let me turn now to the ethos and agenda of the new Canadian Centre for TreatyCompliance. The aim of the centre, broadly stated, will be to conduct high quality,policy-oriented research into the theory and practice of compliance in respect ofinternational treaties, resolutions, agreements and arrangements.As an independent research unit its working assumption will be that compliance is thebedrock of international law. That all states, from the most powerful to the mostdisadvantaged, are obliged to comply with their international legal obligations. Thisincludes those they have freely undertaken and those which have been imposed on themby an authorised international body, such as the UN Security Council or the InternationalCourt of Justice. ‘Universal compliance’ will be the Centre’s leitmotif.Compliance will be interpreted as covering the life-cycle of treaty implementation, fromnegotiation and entry into force onwards towards complete implementation. Hence, thecentre’s research will cover:• the way that individual treaty parties abide by their obligations• the way that international organisations manage treaty verification andimplementation and• the challenges that face the international community in dealing with treaty violations.Of great research interest will be the individual cases of non-compliance that pose thegreatest threat to international peace and security, such as those of Iran and North Korea.But it will also be concerned with the failure of the nuclear weapon states to complywith their disarmament obligations under Article VI of the NPT and the reasons why theUS and Russia have not better complied with their obligations to destroy their chemicalweapon stockpiles.8

In addition research will be conducted across the gamut of generic non-compliancescenarios, ranging from the inadvertent or 'technical' to the willful and provocative.Particular attention will be paid to the technical and other means by which compliance ismonitored and verified and the effectiveness and efficiency of institutional arrangementsfor encouraging, facilitating, inducing and enforcing compliance. The former will includesteps to increase mutual confidence, such as enhancing transparency, through to the useof intrusive on-site inspection techniques. The latter will range from technical andfinancial assistance to help parties comply, at one end of the spectrum, to the use of forceauthorised by the UN Security Council, at the other.What will be the competitive advantage of the centre? As far as we know it will be theonly one of its kind, university-based or otherwise, to have treaty compliance as the focusof its research. I know from my own experience, as the head of an NGO devoted entirelyto verification issues, that specialisation can bring great rewards in terms of attention todetail and comparability across different types of regimes through a specialist prism.I intend the Centre to be multidisciplinary and collaborative and active bothinternationally and Canada-wide. It will seek to involve, among others, the disciplines ofpolitical science, international law and the physical sciences. Collaborators will includevarious Canadian government departments and agencies, other governments,international organisations such as the UN and its subsidiary organs, civil society anduniversities and other research institutes.In addition to conducting research, the Centre will have a publications program, conveneworkshops and conferences, and provide training and education, including by injectingcompliance issues into relevant courses at Carleton University and other collaboratinguniversities. And it will have an active outreach presence.9