The Non-Proliferation Treaty: Status of Implementation and the Threatening Developments

  • Jozef Goldblat
Conference paper

Abstract

The need to restrain the military threat of nuclear energy has been evident to many people from the early days of the atomic age. Indeed, the very first UN General Assembly resolution, of January 1946, called for the elimination of nuclear weapons from state arsenals. In the same year, the government of the United States, which was the first to manufacture these weapons and to use them, proposed the establishment of an international authority to control all atomic energy activities. This proposal, known as the Baruch Plan, met with no success. In 1949 the Soviet Union also became a nuclear weapon power, followed in 1952. by the United Kingdom, in 1960 by France, and in 1964 by China. Subsequently, however, the realization that proliferation of nuclear weapons would pose a danger to world security led to the development of a non-proliferation regime which encompasses various restrictive rules as well as specialized control institutions, both national and international. Among the latter, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) fulfils an essential practical role, but the pivotal place in the regime belongs to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), signed in 1968. The NPT is a unique document in the sense that it prohibits the possession by an overwhelming majority of states of the most destructive weapons yet invented, while tolerating the retention of the same weapons by a handful of nations. But the NPT is not an end in itself: the declared aim of the parties is to use it as a transitional measure to clear the way towards nuclear disarmament.

Keywords

Europe Transportation Uranium Syria Explosive 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jozef Goldblat

There are no affiliations available

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