United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and nuclear weapons

United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and nuclear weapons


  • The five permanent members of the UN Security Council vow to stop the proliferation of the nuclear weapon.
  • A Joint statement was issued by five most powerful countries of the world namely China, Russia, US, UK and France. It said that “the further spread of the nuclear weapons must be prevented as a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought”. 

Current International issues 

  • The rise of China and its growing tension with the US could escalate into conflict specially over Taiwan. 
  • China considers Taiwan as a part of one China and can even capture it by force if required. 
  • There has also been mounting tension between Russia and the US, a rare phenomenon seen since the Cold War. The issue is the rising deployment of Russia’s military near the Ukrainian border. 

 A Welcome step 

  • Russia welcomed the declaration and stated that such initiations would help reduce the Global tension. 

 What is NPT? 

  • NPT stands for Non Proliferation Treaty of nuclear weapons. The Treaty aims to prevent and control the spread of nuclear weapons and nuclear Technology for the purpose of conflict and war and to promote cooperation in the Peaceful use of nuclear energy. 
  • NPT includes three elements

1) Non-proliferation 

2) Disarmament 

3) Peaceful use of nuclear energy

  • NPT was signed in the year of 1968 and came into force in 1970. 

 Key provisions 

  • Those states that have devised nuclear weapons prior to 1 January 1967 were termed as Nuclear Weapons State( NWS)  and the remaining countries were considered as the Non Nuclear Weapons States( NNWS). 
  • This implies that the state with the nuclear weapons will move towards disarmament and the states without the nuclear weapons will not acquire them. 
  • However the Treaty does not prevent or deny the rights of the states to use nuclear energy/ Technology for the peaceful purpose. 

 Issues related to NPT 

  • There was the failure of the disarmament process during the cold war period. The major power blocks rushed towards various nuclear and other weapons development during this period.  Therefore the objective of heading towards the disarmament process met with a setback. 
  • The Treaty has also been categorised as the discriminatory one, which focuses entirely on preventing the horizontal proliferation and not on the vertical proliferation. 

 India and NPT 

  • India has always considered NPT to be a discriminatory one. The Treaty divides the world into two i.e. haves and have nots. 
  • India’s stand since the beginning has been that either the five nation in the possession of the nuclear weapon shall either denuclearized themselves or every Nation shall have equal right to possess them. 
  • Therefore India never signed the Treaty. 

 Way forward 

  • The rising demand for energy has made many countries pursue energy independence. The countries are racing towards nuclear energy. 
  • The challenge for the international community lies in Reconciling the Nation’s demand for being energy independent with non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. 
  • The world shall establish a nuclear weapon free zone which can help reduce the proliferation.(Source: The Hindu)
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