Important Arms Control Treaties
Limited Test Ban Treaty (LTBT), 1963
- It bans nuclear tests in the atmosphere, outer space and under water. It does not ban tests underground, but does prohibit explosions in the environment if the explosions create debris outside the territory of the responsible state.
Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT),1970
- It is the only multilateral treaty with a binding commitment of disarmament by nuclear-weapon states. It seeks to promote cooperation in the field of peaceful nuclear technology and prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology.
- More states have ratified the NPT than any other treaty on arms limitation and disarmament. IAEA verifies compliance with the Treaty.
Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT I),1972
- The United States and the Soviet Union negotiated agreements on limits and restraints of their strategic armaments.
- Attempts to reach an agreement failed on the ABM systems and more proposals were made. After over two years of negotiation, SALT I ended, but an Interim Agreement for five years was established for certain major aspects of strategic weaponry.
- SALT II never came into being.
Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty,1972
- It restrict and locate only two ABM deployment areas in such a nature that they cannot become the basis for developing a nationwide ABM defense.
- Every five years, the United States and the Soviet Union/Russian Federation would hold meetings in Geneva to review and modify the Treaty arrangements.
- In 2001, U.S. president George Bush submitted a formal notification of intent to repeal the treaty and in 2002, the United States withdrew from the ABM Treaty.
Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) ,1975
- It is the first multilateral disarmament treaty that bans the development, production, and stockpiling of this category of weapons of mass destruction.
Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR),1987
- It is an informal association of governments with common interests in missile, unmanned air vehicle, and related technology of non-proliferation.
- Its goal is to limit risks of proliferation by controlling transfers to delivery systems capable of weapons of mass destruction. States must follow laws and procedures which include information-sharing. There is no formal mechanism to ensure compliance.
Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty I (START I), 1994
- It was the first treaty that required U.S. and Soviet/Russian reductions of strategic nuclear weapons. It was indispensable in creating a framework that ensured predictability and stability for deep reductions.
- The dissolution of the Soviet Union caused a delayed the treaty, as the classification of states as nuclear or non-nuclear had to be determined, among other things.
- START II ceased START I.
Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC),1997
- It is the first multilateral framework that seeks to eliminate chemical weapons as a category of weapons of mass destruction.
- The Preparatory Commission for the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) was established in 1997 as the entry-into-force of the CWC in order to lay out standard operating procedures and implement the regime of the CWC.
- The provisions of the CWC create a transparent regime that can verify the destruction of chemical weapons, prevent the re-emergence in any party, and provide protection against chemical weapons. It also encourages cooperation on the peaceful uses of chemistry.
Comprehensive Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT)(Yet to come into force)
- It is composed of three parts: Part I details the International Monitoring System (IMS), Part II focuses on the On-Site Inspections (OSI) component, and Part III is on Confidence-Building Measures (CBMs).
- The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) is an international organization with two organs: the Provisional Technical Secretariat (PTS) which coordinates with countries to develop and maintain an international network of monitoring stations and radionuclide laboratories, and the Preparatory Commission which is designed to help achieve the object and purpose of the Treaty.