The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) into the hands of rogue dictators and terrorists has brought a sea change in strategic international relations, and is accelerating the necessity of public international law to protect humanity. Traditional balances of power have little force left to deter WMD. Major powers must seriously revamp and proactively exploit public international law, and, to that end, bolster multilateral institutions to marshal an action plan to leash this unacceptable risk. Leadership is needed on three levels: 1) promote a new mission for public international law to address WMD; 2) muster a broad-based coalition of nation-states pursuing a legally sanctioned process via the United Nations; and 3) upgrade the still-rudimentary Rules of Procedure at the Security Council. There is a simple enhancement to public international law that would greatly aid this task. The fact-finding "working party" investigative process, which was developed and is being used effectively by GATT and its successor, WTO, to resolve international trade disputes can be adopted by the Security Council as a fact-finding vehicle to deal with threatening WMD situations. Thereafter, any nation fearing such terror weapons could petition the Security Council and be assured a working party will be convened to investigate and impose sanctions or, if necessary, military force.



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