- Intro – the findings of the report.
- Reasons for nuclear disarmament.
- Global actions taken on nuclear disarmament.
- India’s position on nuclear disarmament.
The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) has released its yearbook, which has highlighted some worrying trends in international security in the past year. The expected rise of the global nuclear arsenal was the chief cause of concern. The comprehensive report claims that while absolute numbers of nuclear arsenal have reduced, they are expected to grow over the next decade.
Findings: Russia has the highest number of nuclear weapons with 5977 warheads, followed by the US (5428). However, the US has the highest number of deployed warheads (1744) followed by Russia (1588). They are followed by China (350), France (290), the UK (225), Pakistan (165), India (160), Israel (90) and North Korea (20).
What is the need for nuclear disarmament ?
Nuclear Explosions releases huge amount of energy, simultaneously producing strong shock waves, enormous amounts of heat, and lethal ionizing radiation. E.g., the enormous toll produced by the explosions at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was on a scale never ever produced by any single weapon.
Nuclear Weapons can’t strictly obey the rule of differentiating between combatants and civilians. Even if it is used over the military, then also radiation can impact nearby civilian populations. The destruction of nuclear weapons is imperative to truly realize the principle of sovereign equality of nations. Otherwise the world would remain divided between nuclear haves and have nots.
As per recent reports, the U.S and Russia have a sufficient nuclear arsenal to completely destroy the earth. In such a scenario, any fake trigger using misinformation or fake news can destroy the very existence of human beings on earth.
The growing recruitment of educated youth in terrorist organizations raises a fear that they may attain nuclear prowess in future. This situation can be disastrous and bring a state of anarchy as terrorist have no regard to international law.
Global actions for nuclear disarmament:
- Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), 1968: It was put forward by the USA, UK and USSR. It came into force in 1970. The Treaty recognizes the right of all Parties to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. India considers the treaty discriminatory as it 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. India hasn’t signed the treaty.
- Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, 2017: It prohibits and makes illegal to possess, use, produce, transfer, acquire, stockpile or deploy nuclear weapons. States are also prohibited from using or threatening to use nuclear weapons and other nuclear explosive devices. It came into force in 2021.
- Export Control Groupings: Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and the Missile Technology Control Regimes (MTCR) are some of the nuclear export control groupings, that ensure nuclear fuel export doesn’t result in nuclear weapons development.
- Conference on Disarmament (CD): It is a multilateral disarmament forum established by the international community to negotiate arms control and disarmament agreements based at Geneva. The Conference was first established in 1979 as the Committee on Disarmament.
India’s stance on nuclear disarmament : India is fully committed to complete Nuclear Disarmament, despite being non-signatory to NPT. India also insists that disarmament must be ‘non-discriminatory’ and pursued ‘on the basis of equality’. The main principles of India’s nuclear doctrine are : –
(a) Building and maintaining a credible minimum deterrence; (b) A ‘No First Use’ policy i.e. nuclear weapons to be used only in case of any nuclear attack on Indian territory or on Indian forces; (c) Non-use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapon states; (d) Nuclear retaliatory attacks to be authorised only by civilian political leadership through the Nuclear Command Authority; (e) Nuclear retaliation to a first strike will be massive and designed to inflict unacceptable damage; (f) India may retaliate with nuclear weapons to retaliate against attack of biological or chemical weapons; (g) Strict controls on export of nuclear and missile related materials and technologies; (h) A commitment to the goal of a nuclear weapon free world.