Defence is becoming an important tool to gain supremacy in the global world. Nuclear weapons are becoming a primary threat to the world when we talk about the defence system of different countries. To regulate the use of nuclear weapons by different countries, different nuclear treaties have been signed. One of these nuclear treaties is the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). In this article, we will look into different provisions of CTBT, the importance of this treaty, the problems, the stance of India and a concluding remark on the need for inclusiveness.
What are CTBT (Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty) and its Different Provisions?
CTBT is a global treaty to stop the explosion of nuclear weapons by any country. The ban is on every place and every country that has signed the treaty. The treaty was formulated in the year 1996. Presently, 182 countries have contributed to the success of this treaty by signing it, the last being Trinidad and Tobago in 2009 and 2010 respectively. With regards to the ratification of the treaty, 154 countries have ratified the treaty and Ghana was the most recent country to ratify in 2011.
The drafting of CTBT was done in the landmark Conference on Disarmament conducted in Geneva. At this conference, the parties committed to restraining themselves from producing nuclear weapons. Later the United Nations General Assembly adopted this treaty because of the immense importance that it holds in the global arena.
The Whole Treaty can be divided into Three Parts
- International monitoring system (IMS) to monitor the steps by different countries for controlling nuclear misuse
- On-Site inspection
- Confidence Building Measures
Further two annexures are attached with the CTBT treaty for monitoring different aspects. The first annexure gives detailed information about the location of assets related to the Treaty. The second annexure is concerned with parameters according to which screening is done.
Position of India with regards to CTBT
India was successful in conducting a successful nuclear test in 1998. India has always promoted the idea of a peaceful world and the whole world is like family. But when it came to nuclear power, It has not signed the treaty so far because it feels that the treaty is discriminatory. India wants such a nuclear ban treaty that can check the misuse of power by five permanent members.
The country felt that if we really want to check the misuse of nuclear power, we have to keep a time limit for nuclear disarmament. Another problem was uncertainty about neighbouring countries like Pakistan and China that were not willing to give up their nuclear arms. In that situation, if India parts away with the autonomy to use nuclear weapons when required, it would create military threats.
Global Impact of this Treaty
CTBT has contributed a lot to the peace efforts between different countries. Several countries have signed it and a large proportion of countries have ratified it. The treaty prevents the creation of any new nuclear weapons. Further, the signatory countries can’t modify the existing nuclear weapons if they have already acquired them.
The major positive points of having a ban on the nuclear weapon are:
- Prevention of environmental damage due to the harmful chemicals that are released into the atmosphere because of nuclear weapons
- Reduces the risk of human suffering caused due to negative radiation of nuclear weapons
- The treaty ensures that nuclear material is used only for peaceful purposes and not destructive purposes
- It has a huge network of monitoring systems including almost sixteen labs and 321 stations to check if the state parties are violating their obligations
Major Problems with the Treaty
The major problem with this treaty is that still there are several countries that have refused to comply with the norms of this treaty. Large countries like China and India are also among these countries. This prevents the treaty from becoming a universal mandate.
But given the immense importance of having control over nuclear power, President Barack Obama had requested UNSC to get the treaty passed by all the member States. But that proposal also failed to get an international consensus. Therefore if we see the present situation of this treaty, its impact is contingent on ratification from 44 states.
CTBT (Comprehensive Nuclear test ban treaty) holds immense importance in today’s world. It is true that every country tries to portray it as a symbol of peace. But the arms race going on in the world makes it necessary to have some safeguards. Therefore it is crucial that all the countries comply with the obligations posed by CTBT. Of course, there are challenges and several countries including India have criticised the theory for non-uniformity. But after overcoming these challenges, we can move towards a safer and more secure World.