Global Implications of Nuclear Weapons and Treaties Essay

There are two major treaties in the world today involving nuclear testing. One treaty is the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and the other is the United Nations Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. These treaties were produced to eliminate testing of weapons of mass destruction as a primary source of global instability and danger. In 1954, Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, called for a worldwide comprehensive test ban treaty.His intentions on this treaty were to end the nuclear arms race between the United States, Russia, and Britain. The leaders of the three countries came together and settled on the Partial Test Ban Treaty (PTBT).

This banned only explosions in the atmosphere, outer space and under water. They were able to continue the nuclear arms race by intensifying their underground nuclear testing programs. France and China, which did not sign the PTBT, did conduct tests in the atmosphere until 1974 and 1980.From the 1950’s on, a CTBT was sought after for three main reasons: to curb proliferation, to end the contamination and destruction of the environment from nuclear explosions and to end the arms race by preventing new and modernized weapons from being added to countries” nuclear arsenals.

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Negotiations for a CTBT opened at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, Switzerland in January 1994. The CTBT was made final in the Conference on Disarmament in August 1996 and adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on September 10, 1996 by 158 votes to 3, with 5 abstentions.To this date 142 countries have signed the treaty but only two have ratified it.

The CTBT has two main points to it-1) Each State Party undertakes not to carry out any nuclear test explosion, and to prohibit and prevent any such nuclear explosion at any place under its jurisdiction or control and 2) Each State Party undertakes, furthermore, to refrain from causing, encouraging, or in any way participating in the carrying out of any nuclear weapon test explosion or any other nuclear explosion. Senate Republicans do not agree on the CTBT.Some like North Carolina senator Jesse Helms have called upon the Bush Administration to the CTBT; others such as Kentucky senator Jim Bunning want new smaller “nukes” that would require test blasts, and some senators suggest that the senate might reconsider the CTBT at some point in the future. President Bush worries that without explosive testing, America’s nuclear weapons will become less safe and effective. He also proposes that nuclear weapons can not be disinvented, though they can be greatly reduced in number.The second of the treaties is the United Nations Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), which was approved by the members of the United Nations in 1968, and was forced into entry on March 5, 1970.

International agreement intended to prevent the spread of nuclear technology, signed by the U. S. , Britain, the Soviet Union, and 59 other countries in 1968. The three major countries that signed agreed not to assist states lacking nuclear weapons to obtain or produce them; the nonnuclear countries that signed agreed not to attempt to develop them, and in exchange were promised assistance in developing nuclear power for peaceful purposes.France and China, both nuclear powers, declined to ratify the treaty until 1992, and some nuclear powers, including Israel and Pakistan, have never signed. In 1995, when the treaty was due to expire, it was extended indefinitely by a consensus vote of 174 countries at the U. N.

The objective of this treaty is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, to promote co-operation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, to further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament, reduce the risk of nuclear war and promote the security of all nations.The NPT has become the most widely-adhered to arms control treaty in history. It is one of the only treaties that truly approaches universality.

The United States supports the NPT. In my opinion I would support both of these treaties because if other countries were to use nuclear testing at will, our atmosphere would be shot by the time my children were adults. If countries were still testing nuclear weapons in secret the United States could be in trouble if a war was to break out with one of those countries.