Tenth Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference | 10 Sep 2022

For Prelims: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), No-First-Use Policy, nuclear weapon, Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), The Treaty on the Prohibition of nuclear weapons (TPNW), Nuclear Suppliers Group, The Missile Technology Control Regime, Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation, The Wassenaar Arrangement.

For Mains: Challenges in the way of Non-Proliferation Treaty, Russia’s disagreement on NPT, India’s Stand on NPT.

Why in News?

Recently, the Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference which was held in New York ended without adopting a substantive outcome due to Russia’s objection.

What is the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty?

  • About:
    • The NPT is an international treaty whose objective is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, to foster the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, and to further the goal of disarmament.
    • The treaty was signed in 1968 and entered into force in 1970. Presently, it has 191 member states.
      • India is not a member.
    • It requires countries to give up any present or future plans to build nuclear weapons in return for access to peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
    • It represents the only binding commitment in a multilateral treaty to the goal of disarmament by the nuclear-weapon States.
    • Nuclear-weapon states parties under the NPT are defined as those that manufactured and exploded a nuclear weapon or other nuclear explosive devices before 1st January, 1967.
  • India’s Stand:
    • India is one of the only five countries that either did not sign the NPT or signed but withdrew later, 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 has opposed the international treaties aimed at non-proliferation since they were selectively applicable to the non-nuclear powers and legitimised the monopoly of the five nuclear weapons powers.

What are the Concerns Arising Out of Russia’s Disagreement?

  • The occupation of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in southeastern Ukraine as well as the takeover of the Chernobyl nuclear plant, scene of the world's worst nuclear disaster in 1986, renewed global fears of another nuclear emergency.
  • The threat of nuclear weapons use today is higher than at any time since the heights of the Cold War and the deteriorated international security environment.
  • This NPT conference represents a missed opportunity to strengthen the treaty and global security by agreeing to a specific action plan with benchmarks and timeframes to effectively address the growing dangers of nuclear arms racing and nuclear weapons use.

What are the Other Treaties and Agreements related to Nuclear Weapon?

  • The Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapon Tests in the Atmosphere, In Outer Space and Under Water, also known as the Partial Test Ban Treaty (PTBT).
  • Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT): India has not signed the CTBT as India is a strong advocate for a time-bound disarmament commitment from nuclear weapon states (NWS) and may use the lack of a commitment as a reason to refrain from signing the CTBT.
  • The Treaty on the Prohibition of nuclear weapons (TPNW): It entered into force on 22 January 2021 and India is not a member of this treaty.
  • Nuclear Suppliers Group(NSG): India is not a member of the NSG.
  • The Missile Technology Control Regime.
  • Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation.
  • The Wassenaar Arrangement.

Source: DTE