What is SCRAP?
The Strategic Concept for Removal of Arms and Proliferation (SCRAP) is a campaign that suggests using proven agreements as a basis for general and complete disarmament (GCD). SCRAP proposes a ten-year implementation period for GCD using existing mechanisms as a basis.
The ‘best practice’ lies in the UNMOVIC work in Iraq and in the work of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). UN inspectors should have access to the permanent members of the Security Council (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States) as well as to the ‘smaller’ nuclear powers (India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea). These procedures will also be effective in restricting terrorist access to nuclear technology; and they can be adapted to work with biological and chemical weapons.
In practice, the START and Intermediate Nuclear Force (INF) agreements of the Reagan-Gorbachev era should be extended to all states, and include missile defence and Star Wars systems. New START includes an important innovation by establishing a total number of missile launchers regardless of whether they are carrying nuclear or conventional weapons. The practice developed in UNMOVIC also provides a template for intrusive and effective WMD verification. The European agreements reducing and regulating tanks, artillery, helicopters and warplanes should also be globalised and include naval vessels.
Most of the technical work has already been done for all these agreements. Implementation could therefore be swift.
Why use the SCRAP approach?
GCD has long been a goal of the developing world to prevent humanitarian disasters and to boost sustainable development through disarmament and development.
SCRAP’s focus on a rapid and holistic approach is designed to demonstrate its practicality and to help change the paradigm from a fragmentary and step-by-step approach to one that offers a highly challenging and yet demonstrably practical message to vested interests. Rather than focusing on the trade of weapons, SCRAP emphasizes the humanitarian concerns of deployment, possession and production.
SCRAP offers a draft negotiating text of ‘basic elements’ for GCD that can be implemented incrementally to supplement existing initiatives. It presents a rapid countdown to global zero nuclear weapons and can build on humanitarian disarmament initiatives to encompass conventional weapons stocks.
The basic elements of the proposal extend from those proposed by a number of states in November 2007 in an attempt to globalise the 1987 US-Soviet Intermediate Forces Treaty (INF) – which scrapped an entire class of missile. It includes globalising European treaties that govern armoured vehicles, artillery, helicopters and war planes, as well as the technical aspects of the United Nations (UN)-mandated inspection process for Iraq’s Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and the US-Russian strategic nuclear agreements (START).
Who are SCRAP’s supporters, donors and stakeholders?
SCRAP is empowered by the volunteer energy of students at the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy (CISD) at SOAS University of London, as well as academic, administrative staff and alumni. It forms part of the Disarmament and Globalisation Project. It has been funded by the Marmot Trust, Polden Puckham and Joseph Rowntree. SCRAP has working relationships with the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP), the Institute for Policy Studies and the International Peace Bureau amongst others. Advisors include former officials Paul Meyer (Canada), Angela Kane (UN) as well as longstanding members of the NGO community. SCRAP regularly hosts events at the United Nations Office at Geneva and has been presented as evidence to the UK House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee.
What challenges do you face?
The main challenge is the proposal is perceived as unrealistic. Yet the threat of large-scale warfare emerging from the proliferation of arms exacerbated by economic crisis and the pressures of population increases, resource scarcity and climate change, continues to loom. We seek to overcome this perception by showing the proposal is possible and is based on existing, tried and successful frameworks.