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Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons-Is it Real or Just a Utopian Movement?

The question which arises is after so many decades, why is this concept as elusive as it was when it was coined?

The world commemorated 26 September 2014 as the First International Day for the “Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons”. The question which arises is after so many decades why is this concept as elusive as it was when it was coined? The concept of  Disarmament is now more than five decades old .The foundation of which was laid by the  Ten-Nation Committee on Disarmament (TNDC), Geneva, 1960, followed by  the Eighteen-Nation Committee on Disarmament (ENDC), Geneva, 1962-68,and ultimately the all-important Conference on Disarmament (CD), Geneva, 1979. From this CD, has emerged various other initiatives like the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), Environmental Modification and Seabed treaties, the Biological and Toxic Weapons Convention (BTWC), the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). Any threat whether it was chemical, biological or terrorism, the world body was quick to formulate a treaty, to counter it. So there is no lacuna as far as recognising the threat or formulating a treaty was concerned, but the result has been far from satisfactory. Inspite of the powerful NPT there has been an increase in the number of overt, covert and threshold Nuclear Weapon States (NWS). CTBT has not been ratified by majority of NWS (which include the new NWSs).The reasons may vary from compliance problems to change in the security architecture. The treaties have been rigid in its format and have failed to adapt according to changed security environment. For example NPT refuses to accommodate new NWS, as a result some of these are not obliged to prevent nuclear proliferation. Also NPT members can leave the treaty any time, and can easily divert their civilian nuclear programme for military purposes. These are but a few example hence instead of working for total elimination of nuclear weapons, would it not be prudent to first work on Arms Control .There are various categories of nuclear weapon which needs to be eliminated first before the ultimate goal of global zero is achieved .The starting point can be the “Tactical Nuclear Weapons”, because this class of weapon  escalates instability, as delegating the command and control of weapon at the local level makes it vulnerable to nuclear terrorism, accident and theft. Thus in order to prevent this concept of “Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons” becoming just a utopian concept, it is essential to find ways and means to reach this goal.  In my opinion “Arms Control” can be the first step, followed by total disarmament. However; I would like to know your opinion, and maybe together we may be able to suggest a workable solution.

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