From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty
Mains level : Read the attached story
Russia has blocked the agreement on the final document of a four-week review of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT).
Why in news?
- The NPT review conference is supposed to be held every five years but was delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- This marked the second failure of its 191 state parties to produce an outcome document.
- The last review conference in 2015 ended without an agreement because of serious differences over establishing a Middle East zone free of weapons of mass destruction.
About Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT)
- Between 1965 and 1968, the treaty was negotiated by the Eighteen Nation Committee on Disarmament, a United Nations-sponsored organization based in Geneva, Switzerland.
- Opened for signature in 1968, the treaty entered into force in 1970.
- The NPT is an international treaty whose objective is
- To prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology
- To promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and
- To further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament and general and complete disarmament
- The treaty defines nuclear-weapon states as those that have built and tested a nuclear explosive device before 1 January 1967; these are the United States (1945), Russia (1949), the United Kingdom (1952), France (1960), and China (1964).
Non-members of the treaty
- Four UN member states have never accepted the NPT, three of which possess or are thought to possess nuclear weapons: India, Israel, and Pakistan.
- In addition, South Sudan, founded in 2011, has not joined.
Issues in Nuclear Disarmament
- Notion of Nuclear ‘Haves’ and ‘Have-Nots’: The proponents of disarmaments are themselves nuclear armed countries thus creating a nuclear monopoly.
- Concept of Peaceful Nuclear Explosion (PNE): conducted for non-military purposes such as mining.
Why didn’t India join NPT?
- India is one of the only five countries that either did not sign the NPT or signed but withdrew, thus becoming part of a list that includes Pakistan, Israel, North Korea, and South Sudan.
- India always considered the NPT as discriminatory and had refused to sign it.
- India maintains that they are selectively applicable to the non-nuclear powers and legitimised the monopoly of the five nuclear weapons powers.
India’s commitment for de-nuclearization
India has always batted for a universal commitment and an agreed global and non-discriminatory multilateral framework.
- It has outlined a working paper on Nuclear Disarmament submitted to the UN General Assembly in 2006.
- India participated in the Nuclear Security Summit process and has regularly participated in the International Conferences on Nuclear Security organised by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
- India is also a member of the Nuclear Security Contact Group (but has signed off the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)).
- India has expressed its readiness to support the commencement of negotiations on a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT).
- India couldn’t join the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) due to several concerns raised by India.
- India has piloted an annual UNGA Resolution on “Measures to Prevent Terrorists from Acquiring Weapons of Mass Destruction” since 2002, which is adopted by consensus.
- India has actively supported and contributed to the strengthening of the global nuclear security architecture.
- There is a need for the international community to pay closer attention to the illicit proliferation of networks of nuclear weapons, their delivery systems, components and relevant technologies.
- India hopes that the international community will continue to work towards realising our collective aspiration for a nuclear weapon-free world.