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The Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty

The first nuclear weapon was tested by United States in the Alamogordo the current New Mexico in the year 1945 (Joyner, 24). The international community has always struggled with the dilemma over 69 years to restrain the atoms destructive effects whereas harnessing the important use of nuclear atoms. The process of reaching into agreement has faced many challenges since 1946 in that each and every state viewed the success of the United States during the Second World War as a result of the use of nuclear weapons in Japan (Rotblat et al, 61). Due to such reasons, the other states have always wanted to invest in the nuclear weapons including testing the weapons whenever they feel they should. Because of these reason among other reasons, the powerful states competing for power have signed the treaty of nuclear none-proliferation.

The United States who first tested and used the nuclear weapons leaned that the use of the nuclear weapons was very dangerous to the environment and hence were the first under the leadership of President Dwight to burn the use of nuclear weapons. The burn failed and by the year 1952, three states were already possessing nuclear weapons (Joyner, 27). The peace initiatives under Dwight in the 1950s and 1960s were not successful though there was expansion of peaceful use of nuclear weapons. Other two countries had developed tested the nuclear weapons by the end of the year 1964, and hence Dwight realized that the peaceful use of nuclear technology would not be divorced from the proliferation of nuclear weapons (Rotblat et al, 66).

To stop the further spread of nuclear weapons, the United Nations General Assembly approved a resolution sponsored by Ireland which wanted all the states to participate in development of a binding agreement on manufacture and transfer of nuclear weapons. The draft of nuclear non-proliferation treaty was developed in Geneva in 1965 (Joyner, 30). By 1968, the treaty was opened for signature and it went into force by the year 1970 whereby there were 43 parties including 3 of the 5 nuclear weapons states. The three states were the United States, the Soviet Union and the United Kingdom (Willrich, 39).

The none-proliferation of nuclear weapons (NPT) rests on three main pillars namely; the peaceful use of nuclear weapons, non-proliferation, and disarmament.

The non-proliferation: the Article one of NPT states that no state shall be allowed to transfer nuclear weapons. There are several states throughout the world that are members of this treaty (Rotblat et al, 72). All the members that have signed this treaty and is party to the nuclear weapons have a responsibility of not transferring the nuclear weapons to any recipient in any case whatsoever or is given mandate to have control of such weapons directly (Joyner, 35). The members of the treaty are also not allowed to assist or induce any non-nuclear-weapon state to acquire or even manufacture the nuclear explosives in any case whatsoever.

Under article II, the treaty states clearly that the non-nuclear weapon state party should not receive the nuclear weapons from the members or even access control of any nuclear explosives whatsoever. The none-nuclear-weapon state party to the treaty should not seek or even receive the nuclear weapons from other states or even try to manufacture the nuclear weapons (Rotblat et al, 78). The agreement under the international Atomic Energy Agency states that both the members and none members of the treaty should be checked to ensure that the use of nuclear weapons are prevented from being used from peaceful uses to explosive devices (Joyner, 38). These are stated in article III whereby, the fissionable materials used for peaceful activities should also be used in accordance with the requirements of the treaty in that the state should control all the activities related to transfer or use of nuclear.

For the peaceful uses of the nuclear weapons, NPT Article IV recognizes the right of all the parties to build up nuclear energy for the use in peaceful means hence to benefit internationally in this area, provided they conform to the non-proliferation obligations (Rotblat et al, 83). Such cooperation’s are encouraged by Article IV.

The other major pillar which is the disarmament is stated under Article VI of the NPT, that all the parties have an obligation to pursue good faith negotiations in the process of disarmament of the nuclear weapons (Joyner, 41). This is aimed at carrying out complete disarmament of the states with the nuclear weapons who might threaten the peace of the entire world.

All the three pillars are interconnected and jointly reinforcing. A regime which has effective non-proliferation members obey the obligations they are assigned to thus providing an essential basis for progress on disarmament which in turn results in peaceful use of nuclear energy (Rotblat et al, 92). With the clear access of peaceful use of nuclear energy, there can be development of solid responsibility of non-proliferation. When the non-proliferation is strengthened, the process of disarmament can be easy and hence may result in peaceful nuclear cooperation.

Since the start of NPT, it has been successful to some extent. It has been able to increase its members from 43 in 1970 to 190. NPT is one of the largest non-proliferation control agreements globally. The NPT was reviewed in the year 1995 to extend the treaty (Willrich, 41). There are only three states namely; India, Pakistan and Israel that has never adhered to the treaty. One country has announced that it will windrow its signatory from the treaty and hence this is a clear indication that NPT has succeeded compared to other international treaties.

One of the witnessed successes of the NPT is its provision of the international peace and security. It is through the work of NPT that the norm of non-proliferation which is the international consensus that agrees that the further spread of nuclear weapons would hinder international security that states have agreed on peaceful use of nuclear energy (Joyner, 45). The NPT is the basis of the international nuclear non-proliferation rule which build up the restrictions on use of nuclear energies, safeguards, transfer of nuclear energy, and international cooperation. The nuclear arms race faced during the cold war between the Soviet Union and the United States has led to reduced holdings of nuclear weapons in the last few decades (Rotblat et al, 97). This is because of the application of peaceful use of nuclear energy contained in the NPT.

Another success of the NPT is that it is the only globally-binding agreement that provides a global barrier to the supply and spread of nuclear weapons (Willrich, 45). Due to this role, NPT is one of the leading treaties that provide international security. NPT ha stopped states from using nuclear weapons even during warfare’s in that research indicates that nuclear weapons have long term effects to the environment (Joyner, 49). The proliferation bulwark that NPT possesses has provided security to all the states throughout the world. The treaty has minimized the disputes by providing the countries without the nuclear energy with the energy and hence has minimized the conflicts between states thus improving security globally (Rotblat et al, 104). Since the NPT was signed, it has helped to crystallize the decisions by states to own the nuclear weapons due to the tight programmers monitoring the nuclear activities. Most states that wanted to own the nuclear weapons before have surrendered and become non-nuclear states due to the treaty (Joyner, 61). A good example is South Africa which abandoned their nuclear activities and become non-nuclear state after the signature.

The NPT has assisted the group of states to sign the treaty to ensure complete absence of nuclear weapons within their territories due to effects of nuclear weapons. As a matter of fact, five nuclear-weapon-free zone treaties have been signed.

Research indicates that from the time the NTP entered into force, there has been enamours growth of peaceful use of nuclear weapons (Rotblat et al, 107). Scientists have applied technology to use the nuclear in disease prevention, food security, water resources, medicine and environmental management to improve the lives of both animals and human beings. Over thirty countries globally use nuclear power reactors to produce electricity which counts up to 15% of the world’s electricity (Joyner, 66). The nuclear powers have been used by up to sixty countries to develop infrastructure and hence it has improved the economy thus has expanded the nuclear cooperation.

NPT has also managed to carry out disarmaments which in turn have acted as a barrier to the spread of nuclear weapons. This has enabled the UN Security Council to have a proper control of nuclear weapons globally since the treaty gives the members the mandate to disarm states with nuclear weapons (Rotblat et al, 109). United States for instance has reduced its stockpile as well as the roles the nuclear weapons play in their security policies.

Despite many successes of the NTP, there are some challenges they also face. The main challenge of this treaty is the noncompliance with non-proliferation obligations by some individual states which are none member states. Although majority of the states comply with the treaty, those who have failed to comply should be convinced to comply in that it is an international obligation (Joyner, 71). It is the role of international community to be Vigilant and ensure that no state uses nuclear weapons in that it has a lot of damages to the environment.

Some states like North Korea have failed to comply with the NPT for many years. In the year 2003, North Korea stated that they would withdraw from the treaty (Willrich, 67). Although later in the year 2005 it promised to honour the safeguards, it has failed to comply with the treaty and hence has faced sanctions from the UN Security Council.

Iran is the other state which has failed to comply with the treaty for many years. It has conducted unreported nuclear tests, which include enrichment. Iran has failed to comply with the treaty by breaking the article XII.C. Of the NPT mandate agreement (Joyner, 73). Several meetings have been held to try convincing Iran complies with the treaty by dropping its heavy water related projects but they have remained adamant.

It came into realization of the member states that some countries have been pretending to comply with the treaty in the year 1991 during the gulf war when Iraq used extensive nuclear weapons. Some other countries like Libya have also been found to be in possession of nuclear weapons (Joyner, 77). The discovery of nuclear weapons in Iraq was a clear indication that the then existing safeguards agreements was not strong enough to provide credible assurance that there were no nuclear programmes.

The international community have always been working together to ensure that the rules laid down in the NPT are honoured to the later. Under the leadership of UN, the member states have always worked together to ensure that those states that they do not comply with the treaty are convinced to join and comply (Rotblat et al, 110). Those like North Korea that have remained rigid have been punished through sanctions.

The NPT has achieved the intentions in which they were created to carry in that it has been able to minimize the development and the use of nuclear weapons (Rotblat et al, 113). It has also achieved its target in that it has been able to utilize the positive benefits of nuclear materials for peaceful means. This is a clear indication that the treaty is meeting the ends that it was developed to achieve (Joyner, 81). As a matter of fact, many states throughout the world have supported this international law in that 190 members have joined and complied with the treaty.

Those countries who have failed to comply with the treaty should be brought to the negotiation tables for them to be shown the negative effects of nuclear weapons (Rotblat et al, 115). Sanctions should not be the only means of bringing such non-compliant states to order in that they can survive with the sanctions given to them. The black markets supplying the nuclear weapons should also be broken to ensure the supply of nuclear weapons to the hands of terrorist is clearly cut down (Joyner, 83). The peaceful use of nuclear weapons should also be encouraged throughout the world since it has many advantages to the economy of the world. The risk of proliferation should be minimized by making the peaceful use of nuclear materials accessible to all the nations. The stockpiles of the United States and Russia should also be reduced and the nuclear weapons in these two nations should be removed from the security policies.

Works Cited

Joyner, Daniel. Interpreting the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011. Print.

Rotblat, Joseph, Michael P. Fry, and Patrick Keatinge. Nuclear Non-Proliferation and the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Berlin: Springer-Verlag, 1990. Print.

Willrich, Mason. Non-proliferation Treaty. Charlottesville, Va: Michie, 1969. Print.