Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty (NPT) | Limitations, Suggestions

During the Cold War, another myth got generated that the best route to nuclear disarmament lay through nuclear non-proliferation. The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) took shape during the 1960s and today enjoys widespread adherence.

 Limitations:

  • The fact that the five countries acknowledged as nuclear-weapon-states in NPT are the same as the five Permanent Members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) may have been a coincidence in the 1960s, but today, is a liability that diminishes the NPT.
  • The NPT framework cannot accommodate India’s position or 
  • Cannot tackle China’s flagrant assistance to Pakistan;
  • its review conferences have repeatedly failed in grappling with Israel’s programme; 
  • the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea walked out of the treaty; 
  • and most recently, Iran ensured that it will retain a non-weaponised capability in terms of its enrichment programme. 
  • Clearly, the NPT has reached the limits of its success and even exhausted its normative potential.
  • Today’s nuclear world is very different from the bipolar world of the Cold War dominated by the superpower nuclear rivalry. 
    • The centre of gravity has shifted from the Euro-Atlantic to the Asia-Pacific region and this is a more crowded geopolitical space without any overarching binary equation. 
  • Different players have widely disparate nuclear arsenals and 
  • different doctrinal approaches. 
  •  Even as the number of variables and the number of equations have grown, there is an absence of a security architecture in the Asia-Pacific region. 
Suggestions:
  • A democratic platform to address concerns
  • More frequent meetings - regional, multilateral, global
  • Agenda - in every conference - G-20, UNFCCC, etc.
  • Nuclear disarmament first
Conclusion:
  • As a nuclear conscience keeper, Hiroshima can provide the world a dialogue platform to explore new thinking
  •  From a city of remembrance, Hiroshima can then become a city of hope where the first meaningful steps for a nuclear weapon free world were negotiated.

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