Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and Confidence-Building: A Comparative Analysis

Argentina and Brazil- An Example for South Asia?

This article is authored by Federico Jarast, an Associate Professor at Jindal Global Law School, Sonipat. This article attempts to elucidate upon the global legal framework surrounding the nuclear weapons, focusing on India and Pakistan as emerging threats in South Asia. The author draws a comparison between the historical animosity between India and Pakistan, on one hand, and Argentina and Brazil, on the other, to illuminate upon the strategy adopted by the latter to rectify their nuclear policies and abide by the international standards dealing with nuclear proliferation.


The proliferation of nuclear weapons has been one of the main challenges faced by the international community since mankind first became aware of their destructive power more than seven decades ago. Ever since the threat of nuclear war has been acting as a sword of Damocles, and several theories have arisen based on the fear of such catastrophe.

Despite the fact that the end of the ideological confrontation between the US and the USSR eased the tension in this regard, the bipolar analysis that had prevailed during the Cold War years proved unsuitable to assess the situation prevailing in the last decade of the twentieth century. The emergence of new actors, which significantly changed the power dynamics in the international arena, demanded original approaches to deal with novel problems.

In the realm of nuclear proliferation, the announcement of the completion of successful nuclear explosions in 1998, both by India and Pakistan, constitutes beyond doubt one of the most noteworthy events of the post-Cold War years. This situation is relevant not only due to the deep enmity that has pervaded the relations between these two countries since the times of partition, which makes any kind of cooperation almost utopian; it is also important because both States have been recalcitrant to abide by the international legal framework. Whether this attitude is justified or not is an aspect of this complex scenario that the author will not delve into, as that would lead to political arguments rather than legal ones.

By using a wide array of sources, the author will evaluate the international legal framework dealing with nuclear activities. Then, the paper will focus on the legal situation prevailing between India and Pakistan and, more remarkably, the prospects of cooperation in the nuclear field. The following step will be to conduct a similar legal analysis with regards to Argentina and Brazil.

Notwithstanding the undeniable differences between the two sets of cases, by enquiring into the Latin American example, the author shall attempt to see if there are any beneficial outcomes which could be followed as precedents to bring the stand-off in the subcontinent to an end.