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16. Nuclear arms control




A number of positive developments in nuclear arms control highlighted 1993: the
USA and Russia signed the START II Treaty; Belarus and Kazakhstan acceded
to the 1968 Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) as non-nuclear weapon states; fewer
nuclear explosions were conducted than in any year since 1959; and the
international community reached a consensus for the first time that a
multilateral comprehensive test ban treaty should be negotiated. In addition,
international support for a ban on the production of fissile material for
weapon purposes appeared to become universal as the world's governments became
increasingly aware of the need to focus on controlling and disposing of nuclear
materials as well as nuclear weapons themselves.

However, the `unfinished business' of the cold war remained unfinished in 1993
since neither the START I nor the START II Treaty entered into force.
As the year ended, there were no binding international agreements in force
which limited strategic offensive nuclear weapons. The US and Russian
governments declined to adopt several important initiatives, including
reciprocal monitoring of nuclear warhead dismantlement, comprehensive
declarations of stockpiles of nuclear weapons and all fissile material with
reciprocal measures to verify those declarations, and the separation of
warheads from their deployed intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM)

In 1993 numerous important initiatives were taken to advance the nuclear arms
control agenda, but there was little follow-through producing concrete results.
This raises serious questions for future nuclear arms control and
non-proliferation efforts. If the two major nuclear weapon powers are unable to
bring the START treaties into effect, it will be more difficult for them to
make the case at the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference that they are
fulfilling their obligations under Article VI to bring an end to the nuclear
arms race `at an early date'. Furthermore, if Ukraine ultimately becomes a new
member of the `nuclear club', this would undermine confidence in the general
effectiveness of international non-proliferation efforts. Thus, the new nuclear
arms control agenda of non-proliferation could be undermined if the world fails
to finish the old agenda.

The top priorities in 1994 have to be: completing the CTBT; bringing the
START I and START II treaties into force; and making progress on a
convention to ban the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons.
Although this is a full agenda, it should not preclude renewed efforts to take
three more initiatives. First, the USA and Russia should agree to a warhead
dismantlement regime with reciprocal monitoring. Second, the nuclear weapon
states should openly exchange data on the levels of their nuclear stockpiles,
including data on their stockpiles of fissile material, with verification
arrangements to confirm these declarations. Third, these states, particularly
the USA and Russia, should not only de-target their ICBMs but also separate
their warheads from all or at least most of their land-based missiles so that
it would be impossible to launch those ICBMs quickly.


Appendix 16A. Documents on nuclear arms control