Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty
NPT is in lexicon of Indians at least, as we take (do not take) pride in not signing the world’s most significant arms limitation and disarmament agreement.
NPT is an international treaty whose objective is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, to promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, and to further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament and general and complete disarmament. The treaty has been extended indefinitely in1995, after it came into force in 1970. There are total of 191 signatory states, excluding India, Pakistan, Israel, North Korea and South Sudan.
The treaty has been interpreted to be based on 3 pillars
- The right to peacefully use nuclear technology
Why it is in news?
- India wants to be a member of a 48 member cartel called Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). The cartel controls the export of nuclear materials and its re-export. Thus, NSG makes sure that that the nuclear material exported for peaceful civilian uses is not used for weapon development. With India being non-signatory of NPT, is turning out to be biggest hurdle in way of acceptance of India as a member of NSG. Though India has made one on one deal with many heavy weights such as USA and Canada, and few deal ongoing with Australia and Japan, still its non-member of NPT is a big hindrance to NSG membership.
- Also, NPT members assemble every 5 years to keep track of various developments under the treaty. It happened in New York last year in 2015.
Criticism of NPT
- It has always been seen as a biased treaty, which recognized 5 countries as nuclear-weapon states.
- Signing of NPT is no way proved as effective deterrent to countries pursuing Nuclear Weapons development because of their sovereign needs. The programs of Iran and North Korea are good examples, both being NPT signatories to start with (North Korea exited at a later date).
- It has never looked in shape of achieving disarmament objective.
- It has been ineffective dealing with Israel, which has maintained secretive nature of its nuclear program.
Significance of NPT
- NPT has been successful in pursuing countries like South Korea and Japan not to indulge in development of nuclear weapons.
- It was also successful in swaying Iran in its objective of producing nuclear weapon by severe sanctions.