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Status of Nuclear Non-Proliferation treaty

Date: 10 January 2022 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

Nuclear super-power countries such as China, Russia, U.S., U.K., and France, have pledged to prevent atomic weapons from spreading and avoid nuclear conflict.

 

Background

The statement comes after review of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which had come into existence in 1970.

 

Details

The goal of NPT is to abandon nuclear arms race and working towards not just towards peaceful uses of nuclear energy but also towards complete nuclear disarmament.

 

Implementation of NPT

  • Competition between nuclear states could encourage non-nuclear states to acquire nuclear technology.

  • For the NPT to come into action, all nuclear states will have to abandon their nuclear stockpile, which is next to impossible.

  • So the best solution would be nuclear deterrence among large powers and provide a nuclear umbrella to non-nuclear states.

 

Changing geopolitics

  • The meticulous rise of China and its policy of debt trap diplomacy to get access to other country’s key infrastructure projects have forced neighborhood countries to revisit their policy.

  • Recently, Australia acquired nuclear capabilities for its naval fleet through AUKUS. This was done to counter China in Indo-Pacific.

 

Other agreements on nuclear ban

  • Partial Test Ban Treaty (PTBT)

  • Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT I)

  • Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT II)

  • Strategic Arms Reduction Treaties (I and II)

  • Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT)

  • Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) 

 

Impact of treaties

  • The treaties have had no major impact. Apart from P5, India, Pakistan and Israel have shown nuclear capabilities.

  • North Korea is suspected to have a nuclear programme but there are no evidences to prove. Iran is also actively pursuing nuclear weapons programme.

  • China’s has a stockpile of around 350, France around 290, Russia around 6,257, the U.K. at around 225, the U.S. at around 5,600. 

  • India has a nuclear stockpile of about 160 and Pakistan 165. Israel possesses or has enough material to build about 90 weapons.