The disintegration of the Soviet Union has led to the multinationalization of several previously bilateral U.S.-U.S.S.R. arms control agreements, including the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) and Strategic Arms Reduction (START I) treaties. 1 In addition, the oldest global multinational on-site inspection body—the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)—has significantly expanded the scope and intrusiveness of its inspections in recent years as a result of experience in Iraq and North Korea and the new international readiness to accept tougher on-site inspection regimes; a new multinational on-site inspection agency has been created in The Hague to implement the global Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC); and another will be set up in Vienna to implement the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).
All of the organizations to implement treaties with global scope have similar basic structures—generally modeled on the IAEA prototype—although the terminology used for, and the specific functions of, the various bodies differs somewhat for each treaty. In addition, both the CWC and CTBT provide for the establishment of national authorities in each member country to serve as a national contact point with the multinational organization and assist in the development and transmission of treaty-related national data.
On a regional basis, the United Nations has created a specialized on-site inspection body—the U.N. Special Commission on Iraq (UNSCOM)—to monitor implementation of the U.N. Security Council resolutions requiring Iraq to destroy its weapons of mass destruction. NATO also has established a separate body, the Verification Coordinating Committee, to handle inspection-related activities for the regional Treaty on Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE). This chapter looks briefly at the structure and basic functions of these global and regional multinational on-site inspection bodies.