Date of Award

Spring 5-21-2022

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)


Thomas DeLuca, Ph.D.


In this thesis, I examine the question “Should there be an alternative to the United Nations (UN) for the regulation of nuclear weapons?” The UN is notorious for issues with conflict of interest between the nuclear powers also being the permanent members of the security council. This allows the special interests of nuclear weapon holding states to influence the role of the UN in the path towards disarmament and accountability. A case study is conducted to assess each country’s reaction to UN disarmament initiatives, specifically three treaties: The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), and the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). The case study assesses whether the nuclear powers complied with the conditions of each treaty and if they were effective in working towards disarmament. The approach of UN led disarmament initiatives namely the NPT and TPNW are contrasted with state led initiatives like the Strategic Arms Reduction Talks (START) and the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT)The analysis discusses the results of the data as well as connections between the data and events around the treaties that connect the parties to issues such as conflict of interest. The results show that the UN is not a fit entity to regulate nuclear weapons because of its long history of corruption and favoritism for certain parties, in this case the nuclear powers. The nuclear powers must create a solution where they can accurately show their interest in moving towards disarmament and have a method of enforcement and accountability. My proposal for how this is best done is through a state-led approach instead of a UN based approach.