Non-Proliferation: World powers vow to stop spread of nuclear weapons

What is the News?

Five permanent United Nations Security Council members (China, France, Russia, the UK and US) have pledged to prevent atomic weapons from spreading and to avoid nuclear conflict.

This pledge was made ahead of a review of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT),1970.

What is the pledge made by the Five permanent UNSC members?

Firstly, the spread of atomic weapons must be prevented. This is because a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.

Secondly, they emphasized that the avoidance of war between the Nuclear-Weapon States and the reduction of strategic risks as their foremost responsibilities

Thirdly, they said that Nuclear weapons — for as long as they continue to exist — should serve defensive purposes, deter aggression and prevent war.

Fourthly, they have pledged to abide by a key article in the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) under which countries have committed to full future disarmament from nuclear weapons.

Note: Nuclear weapons have only been used in the conflict in the US bombings of Japan at the end of World War II.

Lastly, they have also expressed their intention to maintain and further strengthen their national measures to prevent unauthorised or unintended use of nuclear weapons.

Read more: At the edge of a new nuclear arms race
What is the significance of this pledge?

The pledge comes as tensions between Russia and the US have reached heights rarely seen since the Cold War over a Russian troop build-up close to the Ukrainian border.

Read more: Ukraine conflict and its implications for India – Explained, pointwise

Moreover, the statement also comes at a time when the world powers seek to reach an agreement with Iran on reviving the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which became toothless by the US walking out of the accord in 2018.

Source: This post is based on the article World powers vow to stop spread of nuclear weaponspublished in The Hindu on 5th Jan 2022.

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