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[[Image:NPT Participation.svg|right|300px|thumb|Participation in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty

 (India, Israel, Pakistan)


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The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, also Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT or NNPT) is a treaty to limit the spread (proliferation) of nuclear weapons, opened for signature on July 1, 1968. There are currently 189 countries party to the treaty, five of which have nuclear weapons: the United Statesmarker, Russiamarker, the United Kingdommarker, Francemarker, and Chinamarker (also permanent members of the United Nations Security Council).

Only four recognized sovereign states are not parties to the treaty: Indiamarker, Israelmarker, Pakistanmarker and North Koreamarker. India, Pakistan and North Korea have openly tested and declared that they possess nuclear weapons. Israel has had a policy of opacity regarding its own nuclear weapons program. North Koreamarker acceded to the treaty, violated it, and withdrew from it in 2003.

The treaty was proposed by Irelandmarker and Finlandmarker and they were the first to sign.

The NPT consists of a preamble and eleven articles. Although the concept of "pillars" appears nowhere in the NPT, the treaty is nevertheless sometimes interpreted as a three pillar system, with an implicit balance among them:

  1. non-proliferation,
  2. disarmament, and
  3. the right to peacefully use nuclear technology.


The treaty is reviewed each five years in meetings called Review Conferences of the Parties to the Treaty of Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. In addition, Sessions of the Preparatory Committee for the Review Conference take place on the intermediate years.

Even though the treaty was originally conceived with a limited duration of 25 years, the signing parties decided by consensus to extend the treaty indefinitely and without conditions during the Review Conference in New York Citymarker on May 11, 1995.

Treaty "pillars"

The NPT is commonly described as having three main "pillars": non-proliferation, disarmament, and peaceful use. This "pillars" concept has been questioned by some who believe that the NPT is, as its name suggests, principally about nonproliferation, and who worry that "three pillars" language misleadingly implies that the three elements have equivalent importance.

First pillar: non-proliferation

Five states are recognized by the NPT as nuclear weapon states (NWS): Chinamarker (signed 1992), Francemarker (1992), the Soviet Unionmarker (1968; obligations and rights now assumed by the Russian Federationmarker), the United Kingdommarker (1968), and the United Statesmarker (1968) (The U.S., UK, and Soviet Union were the only states openly possessing such weapons among the original ratifiers of the treaty, which entered into force in 1970). These five nations are also the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council. These five NWS agree not to transfer "nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices" and "not in any way to assist, encourage, or induce" a non-nuclear weapon state (NNWS) to acquire nuclear weapons (Article I). NNWS parties to the NPT agree not to "receive," "manufacture" or "acquire" nuclear weapons or to "seek or receive any assistance in the manufacture of nuclear weapons" (Article II). NNWS parties also agree to accept safeguards by the International Atomic Energy Agencymarker (IAEA) to verify that they are not diverting nuclear energy from peaceful uses to nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices (Article III).

The five NWS parties have made undertakings not to use their nuclear weapons against a non-NWS party except in response to a nuclear attack, or a conventional attack in alliance with a Nuclear Weapons State. However, these undertakings have not been incorporated formally into the treaty, and the exact details have varied over time. The U.S. also had nuclear warheads targeted at North Korea, a non-NWS state, from 1959 until 1991. The previous United Kingdom Secretary of State for Defence, Geoff Hoon, has also explicitly invoked the possibility of the use of the country's nuclear weapons in response to a non-conventional attack by "rogue states". In January 2006, President Jacques Chirac of Francemarker indicated that an incident of state-sponsored terrorism on France could trigger a small-scale nuclear retaliation aimed at destroying the "rogue state's" power centers.

Second pillar: disarmament

The NPT's preamble contains language affirming the desire of treaty signatories to ease international tension and strengthen international trust so as to create someday the conditions for a halt to the production of nuclear weapons, and treaty on general and complete disarmament that liquidates, in particular, nuclear weapons and their delivery vehicles from national arsenals.

The wording of the NPT's Article VI arguably imposes only a vague obligation on all NPT signatories to move in the general direction of nuclear and total disarmament, saying, "Each of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament." Under this interpretation, Article VI does not strictly require all signatories to actually conclude a disarmament treaty. Rather, it only requires them "to negotiate in good faith."

On the other hand, some governments, especially non-nuclear-weapon states belonging to the Non-Aligned Movement, have interpreted Article VI's language as being anything but vague. In their view, Article VI constitutes a formal and specific obligation on the NPT-recognized nuclear-weapon states to disarm themselves of nuclear weapons, and argue that these states have failed to meet their obligation. Some government delegations to the Conference on Disarmament have put forth proposals for a complete and universal disarmament, but no disarmament treaty has emerged from these proposals. Critics of the NPT-recognized nuclear-weapon states sometimes argue that what they view as the failure of the NPT-recognized nuclear weapon states to disarm themselves of nuclear weapons, especially in the post-Cold War era, has angered some non-nuclear-weapon NPT signatories of the NPT. Such failure, these critics add, provides justification for the non-nuclear-weapon signatories to quit the NPT and develop their own nuclear arsenals.

Other observers have suggested that the linkage between proliferation and disarmament may also work the other way, i.e., that the failure to resolve proliferation threats in Iran and North Korea, for instance, will cripple the prospects for disarmament. No current nuclear weapons state, the argument goes, would seriously consider eliminating its last nuclear weapons without high confidence that other countries would not acquire them. Some observers have even suggested that the very progress of disarmament by the superpowers—which has led to the elimination of thousands of weapons and delivery systems—could eventually make the possession of nuclear weapons more attractive by increasing the perceived strategic value of a small arsenal. As one U.S. official and NPT expert warned in 2007, "logic suggests that as the number of nuclear weapons decreases, the 'marginal utility' of a nuclear weapon as an instrument of military power increases. At the extreme, which it is precisely disarmament’s hope to create, the strategic utility of even one or two nuclear weapons would be huge."

Third pillar: peaceful use of nuclear energy

The third pillar allows for and agrees upon the transfer of nuclear technology and materials to NPT signatory countries for the development of civilian nuclear energy programs in those countries, as long as they can demonstrate that their nuclear programs are not being used for the development of nuclear weapons.

Since very few of the states with nuclear energy programs are willing to abandon the use of nuclear energy, the third pillar of the NPT under Article IV provides other states with the possibility to do the same, but under conditions intended to make it difficult to develop nuclear weapons.

The treaty recognizes the inalienable right of sovereign states to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, but restricts this right for NPT parties to be exercised "in conformity with Articles I and II" (the basic nonproliferation obligations that constitute the "first pillar" of the Treaty). As the commercially popular light water reactor nuclear power station uses enriched uranium fuel, it follows that states must be able either to enrich uranium or purchase it on an international market. Mohamed ElBaradei, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agencymarker, has called the spread of enrichment and reprocessing capabilities the "Achilles' heel" of the nuclear nonproliferation regime. As of 2007 13 states have an enrichment capability. Because the availability of fissile material has long been considered the principal obstacle to, and "pacing element" for, a country's nuclear weapons development effort, it was declared a major emphasis of U.S. policy in 2004 to prevent the further spread of uranium enrichment and plutonium reprocessing (a.k.a. "ENR") technology. Countries possessing ENR capabilities, it is feared, have what is in effect the option of using this capability to produce fissile material for weapons use on demand, thus giving them what has been termed a "virtual" nuclear weapons program. The degree to which NPT members have a "right" to ENR technology notwithstanding its potentially grave proliferation implications, therefore, is at the cutting edge of policy and legal debates surrounding the meaning of Article IV and its relation to Articles I, II, and III of the Treaty.

Countries that have signed the treaty as Non-Nuclear Weapons States and maintained that status have an unbroken record of not building nuclear weapons. However, Iraqmarker was cited by the IAEA and sanctioned by the UN Security Council for violating its NPT safeguards obligations; North Koreamarker never came into compliance with its NPT safeguards agreement and was cited repeatedly for these violations, and later withdrew from the NPT and tested multiple nuclear devices; Iranmarker was found in non-compliance with its NPT safeguards obligations in an unusual non-consensus decision because it "failed in a number of instances over an extended period of time" to report aspects of its enrichment program; and Libyamarker pursued a clandestine nuclear weapons program before abandoning it in December 2003. In 1991 Romania reported previously undeclared nuclear activities by the former regime and the IAEA reported this non-compliance to the Security Council for information only. In some regions, the fact that all neighbors are verifiably free of nuclear weapons reduces any pressure individual states might feel to build those weapons themselves, even if neighbors are known to have peaceful nuclear energy programs that might otherwise be suspicious. In this, the treaty works as designed.

Mohamed ElBaradei, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agencymarker (IAEA), has said that by some estimates thirty-five to forty states could have the knowledge to develop nuclear weapons.

Key articles

Article I: Each nuclear-weapons state (NWS) undertakes not to transfer, to any recipient, nuclear weapons, or other nuclear explosive devices, and not to assist any non-nuclear weapon state to manufacture or acquire such weapons or devices.

Article II: Each non-NWS party undertakes not to receive, from any source, nuclear weapons, or other nuclear explosive devices; not to manufacture or acquire such weapons or devices; and not to receive any assistance in their manufacture.

Article III: Each non-NWS party undertakes to conclude an agreement with the IAEA for the application of its safeguards to all nuclear material in all of the state's peaceful nuclear activities and to prevent diversion of such material to nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.

Article IV: 1. Nothing in this Treaty shall be interpreted as affecting the inalienable right of all the Parties to the Treaty to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination and in conformity with Articles I and II of this Treaty.

2. All the Parties to the Treaty undertake to facilitate, and have the right to participate in, the fullest possible exchange of equipment, materials and scientific and technological information for the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Parties to the Treaty in a position to do so shall also co-operate in contributing alone or together with other States or international organizations to the further development of the applications of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, especially in the territories of non-nuclear-weapon States Party to the Treaty, with due consideration for the needs of the developing areas of the world.

Article VI. The states undertake to pursue "negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament", and towards a "Treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control".

Article X. Establishes the right to withdraw from the Treaty giving 3 months' notice. It also establishes the duration of the Treaty (25 years before 1995 Extension Initiative).

History

The impetus behind the NPT was concern for the safety of a world with many nuclear weapon states. It was recognized that the cold war deterrent relationship between just the United Statesmarker and Soviet Unionmarker was fragile. More nuclear players reduced security for all, multiplying the risks of miscalculation, accident or unauthorized use, or through the escalation of a small nuclear conflict.

The NPT process was launched by Frank Aiken, Irish Minister for External Affairs, in 1958. It was opened for signature in 1968, with Finland the first State to sign. By 1992 all five then-declared nuclear powers had signed the treaty, and the treaty was renewed in 1995 (and followed by the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty in 1996). Several NPT signatories have given up nuclear weapons or nuclear weapons programs. South Africa undertook a nuclear weapons program, allegedly with the assistance of Israel in the 1970s, and may have conductedmarker a nuclear test in the Atlanticmarker ocean in 1979, but has since renounced its nuclear program and signed the treaty in 1991 after destroying its small nuclear arsenal. Several former Soviet Republics destroyed or transferred to Russia the nuclear weapons inherited from the Soviet Union.

United States-NATO nuclear weapons sharing

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At the time the treaty was being negotiated, NATOmarker had in place secret nuclear weapons sharing agreements whereby the United Statesmarker provided nuclear weapons to be deployed by, and stored in, other NATO states. Some argue this is an act of proliferation violating Articles I and II of the treaty. A counter-argument is that the U.S. controlled the weapons in storage within the NATO states, and that no transfer of the weapons or control over them was intended "unless and until a decision were made to go to war, at which the treaty would no longer be controlling", so there is no breach of the NPT. These agreements were disclosed to a few of the states, including the Soviet Unionmarker, negotiating the treaty, but most of the states that signed the NPT in 1968 would not have known about these agreements and interpretations at that time .

As of 2005, it is estimated that the United Statesmarker still provides about 180 tactical B61 nuclear bombs for use by Belgiummarker, Germanymarker, Italymarker, the Netherlandsmarker and Turkeymarker under these NATO agreements . Many states, and the Non-Aligned Movement, now argue this violates Articles I and II of the treaty, and are applying diplomatic pressure to terminate these agreements. They point out that the pilots and other staff of the "non-nuclear" NATO states practice handling and delivering the U.S. nuclear bombs, and non-U.S. warplanes have been adapted to deliver U.S. nuclear bombs which must have involved the transfer of some technical nuclear weapons information. NATO believes its "nuclear forces continue to play an essential role in war prevention, but their role is now more fundamentally political". NATO officials also point out that no nuclear weapons have ever been given over to non-U.S. control by the United States, so therefore there cannot have been a violation of Article I (which prohibits transferring "nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices or control over such weapons or explosive devices") or Article II (which bars "receiv[ing] the transfer from any transferor whatsoever of nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices or of control over such weapons or explosive devices").

U.S. nuclear sharing policies were originally designed to help prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons—not least by persuading the then West Germany not to develop an independent nuclear capability by assuring it that West Germany would be able, in the event of war with the Warsaw Pact, to wield (U.S.) nuclear weapons in self-defense. (Until that point of all-out war, however, the weapons themselves would remain "safely" in U.S. hands.) The point was to limit the spread of countries having their own nuclear weapons programs, helping ensure that NATO allies would not choose to go down the proliferation route. (West Germany was discussed in U.S. intelligence estimates for a number of years as being a country with the potential to develop nuclear weapons capabilities of its own if officials in Bonn were not convinced that their defense against the Soviet Union and its allies could otherwise be met.)

India, Israel and Pakistan

Three states—Indiamarker, Israelmarker, and Pakistanmarker—have declined to sign the treaty. India and Pakistan are confirmed nuclear powers, and Israel has a long-standing policy of deliberate ambiguity (see List of countries with nuclear weapons). These countries argue that the NPT creates a club of "nuclear haves" and a larger group of "nuclear have-nots" by restricting the legal possession of nuclear weapons to those states that tested them before 1967, but the treaty never explains on what ethical grounds such a distinction is valid.

India and Pakistan have publicly announced possession of nuclear weapons and have detonated nuclear devices in tests, India having first done so in 1974 and Pakistan following suit in 1998 in response to another Indian testmarker. India is estimated to have enough fissile material for more than 150 warheads. Pakistan reportedly has between 80 and 120 warheads according to the former head of its strategic arms division. India is one of the few countries to have a no first use policy, a pledge not to use nuclear weapons unless first attacked by an adversary using nuclear weapons. The main reason India cites for not signing the NPT and for possessing nuclear weapons is that China is one of the "nuclear haves." India's External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said during a visit to Tokyo in 2007: "If India did not sign the NPT, it is not because of its lack of commitment for non-proliferation, but because we consider NPT as a flawed treaty and it did not recognise the need for universal, non-discriminatory verification and treatment." China and India have a longstanding border dispute, including a border war in 1962.

According to leaked intelligence, Israel has been developing nuclear weapons at its Dimonamarker site in the Negevmarker since 1958, and many nonproliferation analysts like David Albright estimate that Israel may have stockpiled between 100 to 200 warheads using the plutonium reprocessed from Dimona. The Israeli government refuses to confirm or deny possession of nuclear weapons, although this is now regarded as an open secret after Israeli low level nuclear technician Mordechai Vanunu—later abducted and jailed by Israel—revealed the program to the Britishmarker Sunday Times in 1986.

In early March 2006, India and the United Statesmarker finalized a deal, having critics in both countries, to provide India with US civilian nuclear technology. Under the deal India has committed to classify 14 of its 22 nuclear power plants as being for civilian use and to place them under IAEAmarker safeguards. Mohamed ElBaradei, the Director General of the IAEAmarker, welcomed the deal by calling India "an important partner in the non-proliferation regime."

In December 2006, United States Congress approved the United States-India Peaceful Atomic Energy Cooperation Act that was cemented during President Bush's visit to India earlier in the year. The legislation allows for the transfer of civilian nuclear material to India. Despite its status outside the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, India was granted these transactions on the basis of its clean non-proliferation record, and India's unusually high need for energy fueled by its rapid industrialization and a billion-plus population.

On August 1, 2008, the IAEAmarker approved the India Safeguards Agreement and on September 6, 2008, India was granted the waiver at the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) meeting held in Vienna, Austria. The consensus was arrived after overcoming misgivings expressed by Austria, Ireland and New Zealand and is an unprecedented step in giving exemption to a country, which has not signed the NPT and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). While India could commence nuclear trade with other willing countries. The U.S. Congress approved this agreement and the President signed it on 8 October, 2008.

The NSG Guidelines currently rule out nuclear exports by all major suppliers to Pakistan and Israel, with very narrow exceptions, since neither has full-scope IAEA safeguards (i.e. safeguards on all its nuclear activities). Attempts by Pakistan to reach a similar agreement have been rebuffed by the United States and other NSG members. The argument put forth is that not only does Pakistan lack the same energy requirements but that the track record of Pakistan as a nuclear proliferator makes it impossible for it to have any sort of nuclear deal in the near future.

On September 18, 2009 the General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agencymarker called on Israel to open its nuclear facilities to IAEA inspection and adhere to the non-proliferation treaty as part of a resolution on "Israeli nuclear capabilities," which passed by a narrow margin of 49-45 with 16 abstentions. The chief Israeli delegate stated that "Israel will not co-operate in any matter with this resolution."

North Korea

North Koreamarker ratified the treaty on December 12, 1985, but gave notice of withdrawal from the treaty on January 10, 2003 following U.S. allegations that it had started an illegal enriched uranium weapons program, and the U.S. subsequently stopping fuel oil shipments under the Agreed Framework which had resolved plutonium weapons issues in 1994 . The withdrawal became effective April 10, 2003 making North Korea the first state ever to withdraw from the treaty. North Korea had once before announced withdrawal, on March 12, 1993, but suspended that notice before it came into effect.

On February 10, 2005, North Korea publicly declared that it possessed nuclear weapons and pulled out of the six-party talks hosted by China to find a diplomatic solution to the issue. "We had already taken the resolute action of pulling out of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and have manufactured nuclear arms for self-defence to cope with the Bush administration's evermore undisguised policy to isolate and stifle the DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea]," a North Korean Foreign Ministry statement said regarding the issue. Six-party talks resumed in July 2005.

On September 19, 2005, North Korea announced that it would agree to a preliminary accord. Under the accord, North Korea would scrap all of its existing nuclear weapons and nuclear production facilities, rejoin the NPT, and readmit IAEA inspectors. The difficult issue of the supply of light water reactors to replace North Korea's indigenous nuclear power plant programmarker, as per the 1994 Agreed Framework, was left to be resolved in future discussions. On the next day North Korea reiterated its known view that until it is supplied with a light water reactor it will not dismantle its nuclear arsenal or rejoin the NPT.

On October 2, 2006, the North Korean foreign minister announced that his country was planning to conduct a nuclear test "in the future", although it did not state when. On Monday, October 9, 2006 at 01:35:27 (UTC) the United States Geological Survey detected a magnitude 4.2 seismic event 70 km (45 miles) north of Kimchaek, North Korea indicating a nuclear test. The North Korean government announced shortly afterward that they had completed a successful underground testmarker of a nuclear fission device.

In 2007, reports from Washington suggested that the 2002 CIA reports stating that North Korea was developing an enriched uranium weapons program, which led to North Korea leaving the NPT, had overstated or misread the intelligence. On the other hand, even apart from these press allegations—which some critics worry could have been planted in order to justify the United States giving up trying to verify the dismantlement of Pyongyang's uranium program in the face of North Korean intransigence—there remains some information in the public record indicating the existence of a uranium effort. Quite apart from the fact that North Korean First Vice Minister Kang Sok Ju at one point admitted the existence of a uranium enrichment program, Pakistan's then-President Musharraf revealed that the A.Q. Khan proliferation network had provided North Korea with a number of gas centrifuges designed for uranium enrichment. Additionally, press reports have cited U.S. officials to the effect that evidence obtained in dismantling Libya’s WMD programs points toward North Korea as the source for Libya's uranium hexafluoride (UF6) -- which, if true, would mean that North Korea has a uranium conversion facility for producing feedstock for centrifuge enrichment.

Iran

Iranmarker is a party to the NPT, but was found in non-compliance with its NPT safeguards agreement and the status of its nuclear program remains in dispute. In November 2003 IAEAmarker Director General Mohamed ElBaradei reported that Iran had repeatedly and over an extended period failed to meet its safeguards obligations, including by failing to declare its uranium enrichment program. After about two years of EU3-led diplomatic efforts and Iran temporarily suspending its enrichment program, the IAEA Board of Governors, acting under Article XII.C of the IAEA Statute, found in a rare non-consensus decision with 12 abstentions that these failures constituted non-compliance with the IAEA safeguards agreement. This was reported to the UN Security Council in 2006, after which the Security Council passed a resolution demanding that Iran suspend its enrichment.Instead, Iran resumed its enrichment program.

The IAEA has been able to verify the non-diversion of declared nuclear material in Iran, and is continuing its work on verifying the absence of undeclared activities. Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and relevant provisions of Security Council resolutions 1737 (2006) and 1747 (2007) in the Islamic Republic of Iran In February 2008, the IAEA also reported that it was working to address "alleged studies" of weaponization, based on documents provided by certain Member States, which those states claimed originated from Iran. Iran rejected the allegations as "baseless" and the documents as "fabrications." In June 2009, the IAEA reported that Iran had not “cooperated with the Agency in connection with the remaining issues ... which need to be clarified to exclude the possibility of military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear program.”

The United States concluded that Iran violated its Article III NPT safeguards obligations, and further argued based on circumstantial evidence that Iran's enrichment program was for weapons purposes and therefore violated Iran's Article II nonproliferation obligations. The November 2007 US National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) later concluded that Iran had halted an active nuclear weapons program in the fall of 2003 and that it had remained halted as of mid-2007. The NIE's "Key Judgments," however, also made clear that what Iran had actually stopped in 2003 was only "nuclear weapon design and weaponization work and covert uranium conversion-related and uranium enrichment-related work"-namely, those aspects of Iran's nuclear weapons effort that had not by that point already been leaked to the press and become the subject of IAEA investigations. Since Iran's uranium enrichment program at Natanz—and its continuing work on a heavy water reactor at Arak that would be ideal for plutonium production—began secretly years before in conjunction with the very weaponization work the NIE discussed and for the purpose of developing nuclear weapons, many observers find Iran's continued development of fissile material production capabilities distinctly worrying. Particularly because fissile material availability has long been understood to be the principal obstacle to nuclear weapons development and the primary "pacing element" for a weapons program, the fact that Iran has reportedly suspended weaponization work may not mean very much. As U.S. Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell has put it, the aspects of its work that Iran allegedly suspended were thus "probably the least significant part of the program."

Iran states it has a legal right to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes under the NPT, and further says that it "has constantly complied with its obligations under the NPT and the Statute of the International Atomic Energy Agency". Iran also states that its enrichment program is part of its civilian nuclear energy program, which is allowed under Article IV of the NPT. The Non-Aligned Movement has welcomed the continuing cooperation of Iran with the IAEA and reaffirmed Iran's right to the peaceful uses of nuclear technology. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has welcomed the continued dialogue between Iran and the IAEA, and has called for a peaceful resolution to the issue.

South Africa

South Africa also deserves a special mention as the only country that developed nuclear weapons by itself and later dismantled them - unlike the former Soviet states Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstanmarker, which inherited nuclear weapons from the former USSRmarker, and also acceded to the NPT as non-nuclear weapon states.

During the days of apartheid, the white South African government developed a deep fear of both a black uprising and the threat of communism. This led to the development of a secret nuclear weapons program as an ultimate deterrent. South Africa has a large supply of uranium, which is mined in the country's gold mines. The government built a nuclear research facility at Pelindaba near Pretoria where uranium was enriched to fuel grade for the nuclear power plant at Koeberg as well as weapon grade for bomb production.

In 1991, after international pressure and when a change of government was imminent, South African Ambassador to the United States Harry Schwarz signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. In 1993, the then president Frederik Willem de Klerk openly admitted that the country had developed a limited nuclear weapon capability. These weapons were subsequently dismantled prior to accession to the NPT. South Africa then opened itself up to IAEAmarker for inspection. In 1994 the IAEAmarker completed its work and declared that the country had fully dismantled its nuclear weapons program.

Libya

Libya had signed and ratified the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and was subject to IAEA nuclear safeguards inspections, but undertook a secret nuclear weapons development program in violation of its NPT obligations, using material and technology provided by the A.Q. Khan proliferation network—including actual nuclear weapons designed allegedly originating in China. Libya began secret negotiations with the United States and the United Kingdom in March 2003 over potentially eliminating its WMD programs. In October 2003, Libya was embarrassed by the interdiction of a shipment of Pakistani-designed centrifuge parts sent from Malaysia, also as part of A. Q. Khan's proliferation ring. In December 2003, Libya announced that it had agreed to eliminate all its WMD programs, and permitted U.S. and British teams (as well as IAEA inspectors) into the country to assist this process and verify its completion. The nuclear weapons designs, gas centrifuges for uranium enrichment, and other equipment—including prototypes for improved SCUD ballistic missiles—were removed from Libya by the United States. (Libyan chemical weapons stocks and chemical bombs were also destroyed on site with international verification, with Libya joining the Chemical Weapons Convention.) Libya's noncompliance with its IAEA safeguards was reported to the U.N. Security Council, but with no action taken, as Libya's return to compliance with safeguards and Article II of the NPT was welcomed.

Leaving the treaty

Article X allows a state to leave the treaty if "extraordinary events, related to the subject matter of this Treaty, have jeopardized the supreme interests of its country", giving three months' (ninety days') notice. The state is required to give reasons for leaving the NPT in this notice.

NATOmarker states argue that when there is a state of "general war" the treaty no longer applies, effectively allowing the states involved to leave the treaty with no notice. This is a necessary argument to support the NATO nuclear weapons sharing policy, but a troubling one for the logic of the treaty. NATO's argument is based on the phrase "the consequent need to make every effort to avert the danger of such a war" in the treaty preamble, inserted at the behest of U.S. diplomats, arguing that the treaty would at that point have failed to fulfill its function of prohibiting a general war and thus no longer be binding. Many states do not accept this argument. See United States-NATO nuclear weapons sharing above.

North Korea has also caused an uproar by its use of this provision of the treaty. Article X.1 only requires a state to give three months' notice in total, and does not provide for other states to question a state's interpretation of "supreme interests of its country". In 1993, North Korea gave notice to withdraw from the NPT. However, after 89 days, North Korea reached agreement with the United States to freeze its nuclear program under the Agreed Framework and "suspended" its withdrawal notice. In October 2002, the United States accused North Korea of violating the Agreed Framework by pursuing a secret uranium enrichment program, and suspended shipments of heavy fuel oil under that agreement. In response, North Korea expelled IAEA inspectors, disabled IAEA equipment, and, on January 10, 2003, announced that it was ending the suspension of its previous NPT withdrawal notification. North Korea said that only one more day's notice was sufficient for withdrawal from the NPT, as it had given 89 days before. The IAEA Board of Governors rejected this interpretation.. Most countries held that a new three-months withdrawal notice was required, and some questioned whether North Korea's notification met the "extraordinary events" and "supreme interests" requirements of the Treaty. The Joint Statement of September 19, 2005 at the end of the Fourth Round of the Six-Party Talks called for North Korea to "return" to the NPT, implicitly acknowledging that it had withdrawn.

Future

The 2000 Review Conference had as main outcome the definition in practical terms of the nuclear weapons states' disarmament obligations, summarized in the so called Thirteen Points.

The inclusion of (civilian) nuclear power in the July 2005 Asia-Pacific Partnership for Clean Development and Climate was politically sensitive, as India, which tested its first atomic bomb in 1974, refused to sign the NPT. Prior to the announcement of the Asia-Pacific Partnership, on 18 July 2005, US President George W. Bush had met Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and declared that he would work to change US law and international rules to permit trade in US civilian nuclear technology with India. Some, such as British columnist George Monbiot, argue that the U.S.-India nuclear deal, in combination with US attempts to deny Iranmarker (an NPT signatory) civilian nuclear fuel-making technology, may destroy the NPT regime, while others contend that such a move will likely bring India, an NPT non-signatory, under closer international scrutiny.

At the Seventh Review Conference in May 2005, there were stark differences between the United Statesmarker, which wanted the conference to focus on non-proliferation, especially on its allegations against Iranmarker, and most other countries, who emphasized the lack of serious nuclear disarmament by the nuclear powers. The non-aligned countries reiterated their position. that NATOmarker's nuclear sharing arrangement violates the treaty.

The next Review Conference which will be held in May 2010 is seen as critical to consolidate the nuclear nonproliferation regime, based on the treaty. The 2009 Session of the NPT Preparatory Committee, held in May, failed to deliver an agreed recommendation for the upcoming Review Conference, but even so, it has been considered successful to define the main issues to be discussed during the meeting .

Criticism and responses

Gamal Abdel Nasser once said "basically they did whatever they wanted to do before the introduction of NPT and then devised it to prevent others from doing what they had themselves been doing before". In addition, some argue that the NWS have not fully complied, in practice, with their commitments mentioned in NPT. Article VI of the treaty requires NPT parties to "pursue negotiations" on an end to the arms race, "nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament." Yet thousands of nuclear weapons remain, some on high alert, long after the end of the cold war. In January 2002, a report by the Defense Department following the U.S. Nuclear Posture Review recommended the development of nuclear weapons designed to destroy hardened and deeply-buried targets, but the resulting Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator never gained full Congressional support and was canceled in 2005. The representative of Ghana, on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement and the African Group said disarmament and non-proliferation were complementary and mutually reinforcing and that, "Without tangible progress in disarmament, the current emphasis on non-proliferation cannot be sustained."

The United States responds to criticism of its disarmament record by pointing out that since the end of the Cold War it has eliminated over 13,000 nuclear weapons and eliminated over 80% of its deployed strategic warheads and 90% of non-strategic warheads deployed to NATO, in the processing eliminating whole categories of warheads and delivery systems and reducing its reliance on nuclear weapons. U.S. officials have also pointed out the United States' ongoing—and, throughout 2007, sharply accelerating—work to dismantle nuclear warheads. When current accelerated dismantlement efforts ordered by President George W. Bush have been completed, the U.S. arsenal will be less than a quarter of its size at the end of the Cold War, and smaller than it has been at any point since the Eisenhower administration, well before the drafting of the NPT. The United States has also purchased many thousands of weapons' worth of uranium formerly in Soviet nuclear weapons for conversion into reactor fuel. (As a consequence of this latter effort, it has been estimated that the equivalent of one lightbulb in every ten in the United States is powered by nuclear fuel removed from warheads previously targeted at the United States and its allies during the Cold War.) The U.S. Special Representative for Nuclear Nonproliferation agreed that that nonproliferation and disarmament are linked, noting that they can be mutually reinforcing but also that growing proliferation risks create an environment that makes disarmament more difficult. The United Kingdom,, France and Russia likewise defend their nuclear disarmament records, and the five NPT NWS issued a joint statement in 2008 reaffirming their Article VI disarmament commitments. As discussed above, the precise nature of nuclear weapons state obligations, if any, under Article VI of the Treaty is sharply contested.

See also



References

  1. Ambassador Sudjadnan Parnohadiningrat, 26 April 2004, United Nations, New York, Third Session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2005 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, furnished by the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Indonesia to the United Nations (indonesiamission-ny.org)
  2. See, for example, the Canadian government's NPT web site The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
  3. This view was expressed by Christopher Ford, the U.S. NPT representative at the end of the Bush Administration. See " The 2010 Review Cycle So Far: A View from the United States of America," presented at Wilton Park, United Kingdom, December 20, 2007.
  4. UK 'prepared to use nuclear weapons' BBC article dated 20 March, 2002
  5. France 'would use nuclear arms', BBC article dated 19 January, 2006
  6. Chirac: Nuclear Response to Terrorism Is Possible, Washington Post article dated 20 January, 2006
  7. NPT background
  8. U.S. Compliance With Article VI of the NPT
  9. See, e.g., Disarmament, the United States, and the NPT, Christopher Ford, U.S. Special Representative for Nuclear Nonproliferation, delivered at the Conference on "Preparing for 2010: Getting the Process Right," Annecy, France, March 17, 2007; Nuclear Disarmament Progress and Challenges in the Post-Cold War World, U.S. statement to the Second Session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2010 NPT Review Conference, Geneva (April 30, 2008)
  10. U.S. Special Representative for Nuclear Nonproliferation Christopher Ford, "Disarmament and Non-Nuclear Stability in Tomorrow's World," remarks to the Conference on Disarmament and Nonproliferation Issues, Nagasaki, Japan (August 31, 2007).
  11. See Remarks by President Bush at the National Defense University (February 11, 2004), available at http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/news/releases/2004/02/20040211-4.html (announcing initiative to stop spread of ENR technology).
  12. http://www.iaea.org/NewsCenter/Focus/IaeaDprk/dprk.pdf and http://www.iaea.org/NewsCenter/MediaAdvisory/2003/med-advise_048.shtml
  13. Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (PDF) - IAEA
  14. Otfried Nassauer, Institute for Energy and Environmental Research (ieer.org), Science for Democratic Action Volume 9 Number 3, May 2001, Nuclear Sharing in NATO: Is it Legal?
  15. Hans M. Kristensen, National Resources Defence Council (nrdc.org), February 2005, U.S. Nuclear Weapons in Europe: A Review of Post-Cold War Policy, Force Levels, and War Planning
  16. NATO (nato.int), NATO's Nuclear Forces in the New Security Environment
  17. See, e.g., U.S. Director of Central Intelligence, Likelihood and Consequences of a Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Systems, declassified U.S. National Intelligence Estimate, NIE 4-63 (June 28, 1963), at p.17, paragraph 40.
  18. See, e.g., U.S. Director of Central Intelligence, Annex to National Intelligence Estimate No. 100-2-58: Development of Nuclear Capabilities by Fourth Countries: Likelihood and Consequences, declassified U.S. National Intelligence Estimate, NIE 100-2-58 (July 1, 1958), at p.4, paragraphs 18-19; U.S. Director of Central Intelligence, Likelihood and Consequences of the Development of Nuclear Capabilities by Additional Countries, declassified U.S. National Intelligence Estimate, NIE 100-4-60 (September 20, 1960), at p. 2, paragraph 4, & p.8, paragraphs 27-29.
  19. http://www.carnegieendowment.org/files/atomsforwarfinal4.pdf
  20. Impact of US wargames on Pakistan N-arms ‘negative’ -DAWN - Top Stories; December 03, 2007
  21. http://www.indianembassy.org/policy/CTBT/nuclear_doctrine_aug_17_1999.html
  22. http://www.undemocracy.com/meeting/A-52-PV.67#pg015-bk01
  23. India seeks Japan's support, calls NPT 'flawed'
  24. http://merln.ndu.edu/archivepdf/iran/State/66861.pdf
  25. http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5geN2RWjoN4oJhPibc7rhkyxMXfzg
  26. IAEA Board Approves India-Safeguards Agreement
  27. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/11/AR2008091103099.html
  28. President Bush Signs H.R. 7081, the United States-India Nuclear Cooperation Approval and Nonproliferation Enhancement Act
  29. BBC (bbc.co.uk), 2 March 2006, US and India seal nuclear accord
  30. http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2009/09/2009918173136830771.html
  31. Text of Agreed Framework
  32. Korean News Service, Tokyo (kcna.co.jp), 10 January 2003, Statement of DPRK Government on its withdrawal from NPT
  33. Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (wagingpeace.org), 10 April 2003, North Korea’s Withdrawal from Nonproliferation Treaty Official
  34. International Atomic Energy Agency (iaea.org), May 2003, Fact Sheet on DPRK Nuclear Safeguards
  35. Korean News Service, Tokyo (kcna.co.jp), February 2005, DPRK FM on Its Stand to Suspend Its Participation in Six-party Talks for Indefinite Period
  36. Agence France Presse, 2006, N.Korea raises stakes on nuclear deal with reactor demand, furnished by Media Corp News (channelnewsasia.com), 20 September 2005
  37. BBC (news.bbc.co.uk), 3 October 2006, N Korea 'to conduct nuclear test'
  38. See generally U.S. Department of State, “Adherence to and Compliance With Arms Control, Nonproliferation, and Disarmament Agreements and Commitments,” August 2005, pp. 87-92, www.state.gov/documents/organization/52113.pdf; Anthony Faiola, “N. Korea Declares Itself a Nuclear Power,” The Washington Post, February 10, 2005, www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A12836-2005Feb10.html; “Khan ‘Gave N. Korea Centrifuges,’” BBC News, August 24, 2005, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/4180286.stm; “Pakistan and North Korea: Dangerous Counter-Trades,” IISS Strategic Comments, Vol. 8, No. 9 (November 2002).
  39. EU and Iran Avert Nuclear Deadlock
  40. Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran, Resolution adopted on 4 February 2006,
  41. UN Security Council Resolution 1737
  42. BBC: Iran 'resumes' nuclear enrichment
  43. Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and relevant provisions of Security Council resolutions 1737 (2006) and 1747 (2007) in the Islamic Republic of Iran, 22 February 2008
  44. GOV/2009/35, Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and relevant provisions of Security Council resolutions 1737 (2006), 1747 (2007), 1803 (2008) and 1835 (2008) in the Islamic Republic of Iran, 5 June 2009.
  45. Adherence to and Compliance With Arms Control, Nonproliferation, and Disarmament Agreements and Commitments, Bureau of Verification and Compliance, U.S. Department of State, August 30, 2005
  46. Iran: Nuclear Intentions and Capabilities (National Intelligence Estimate)
  47. See, e.g., U.S. Special Representative for Nuclear Nonproliferation Christopher A. Ford, "The 2020 NPT Review Cycle So Far: A View from the United States of America," remarks at Wilton Park, UK (December 20, 2007), http://www.state.gov/t/isn/rls/rm/98382.htm ("Given that possession of the necessary quantity of fissile material is the most difficult challenge in developing a nuclear weapon, the recently-released U.S. National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) hardly alleviates our concerns about Iran’s nuclear work.").
  48. IAEA Information Circular 724 (March 2008): Communication from the Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the Agency
  49. XV Ministerial Conference of the Non-Aligned Movement (July 2008): Statement on the Islamic Republic of Iran's Nuclear Issue
  50. OIC (March 2008): UN Secretary-General's address to the 11th Summit of the Organization of the Islamic Conference
  51. See generally Assistant Secretary of State Paula DeSutter, "Libya Renounces Weapons of Mass Destruction, http://usinfo.state.gov/journals/itps/0305/ijpe/desutter.htm; DeSutter, "Completion of Verification Work in Libya," testimony before the Subcommittee on International Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Human Rights (September 22, 2004), http://www.state.gov/t/vci/rls/rm/2004/37220.htm; DeSutter, "U.S. Government's Assistance to Libya in the Elimination of its Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)," testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (February 26, 2004), http://www.state.gov/t/vci/rls/rm/2004/29945.htm.
  52. North Korea Profile - Nuclear Overview
  53. Media Advisory 2003/48 - IAEA Board of Governors Adopts Resolution on Safeguards in North Korea - 12 February
  54. The Associated Press, 2005, Bush opens energy door to India, furnished by CNN (cnn.com), 18 July 2005
  55. George Monbiot, The Guardian (guardian.co.uk), 2 August 2005, The treaty wreckers
  56. Syed Hamid Albar, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia, United Nations (un.org), New York, 2 May 2005, The General Debate of the 2005 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons
  57. 2009 NPT PrepCom – Pluses, Minuses, and Bottom line
  58. Nuclear Posture Review Excerpts
  59. Hersh: U.S. mulls nuclear option for Iran
  60. Thousands of Nuclear Weapons on High Alert Makes Mockery of Disarmament Progress, with Non-Proliferation Threatened by Lopsided Approach, First Committee Told
  61. See. e.g., "Disarmament, the United States, and the NPT," http://www.state.gov/t/isn/rls/other/81946.htm; U.S. Special Representative for Nuclear Nonproliferation Christopher Ford, "Procedure and Substance in the NPT Review Cycle: The Example of Nuclear Disarmament," remarks to the Conference on "Preparing for 2010: Getting the Process Right," Annecy, France (March 17, 2007), http://www.state.gov/t/isn/rls/rm/81940.htm; "The United States and Article VI: A Record of Accomplishment," http://geneva.usmission.gov/CD/updates/05-06-08%20Article%20VI%20Briefing.pdf.
  62. Remarks by U.S. National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley at the Center for International Security and Cooperation, Stanford University (February 8, 2008), http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2008/02/20080211-6.html.
  63. Disarmament, the United States, and the NPT
  64. FCO fact sheet on nuclear weapons
  65. The 2005 NPT Review Conference: A French Perspective
  66. Statement by Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Kislyak at the 2005 NPT Review Conference
  67. Statement of the P5 to the 2008 NPT PrepCom


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