Amending the Non Proliferation Regime Jozef Glodblat | Treaty On The Non Proliferation Of Nuclear Weapons | Nuclear Proliferation

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Amending the non-proliferation regime Jozef Goldblat T o strengthen the international norm banning the proliferation of nuclear weapons, the 1968 Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) must be adapted to the present national security requirements and the level of technological development in the field of nuclear energy. This could be achieved by amending the treaty so as to remove its shortcomings and fill the gaps that are becoming increasingly apparent. Among the possible amendments that could be e
   Joze Goldblat is Resident Senior Fellow at the United Nations Institute or Disarmament Research.  Jozef G oldblat  Amending the non-proliferation regime T o strengthen the international norm banning the prolieration o nuclear weapons, the 1968Non-prolieration Treaty (NPT) must be adapted to the present national security requirementsand the level o technological development in the feld o nuclear energy. This could be achievedby amending the treaty so as to remove its shortcomings and fll the gaps that are becoming increasinglyapparent. Among the possible amendments that could be envisaged: Under Article I nuclear-weapon parties have undertaken not to transer nuclear explosive devices toany recipient, directly or indirectly, and not to assist, encourage or induce any non-nuclear-weaponstate to manuacture nuclear weapons. Recommendation :  The ban on “indirect” transer to “any recipient” must be understood to covertranser through military alliances. The obligation not to assist, encourage or induce the manuactureo nuclear explosive devices should be binding on non-nuclear-weapon parties as well. Under Article III(2)  supplies o nuclear material or equipment to any non-nuclear-weapon state maytake place i they are subject to the International Atomic Energy Agency saeguards (IAEA) requiredby this article. Recommendation : The “required” saeguards must be comprehensive, that is, applied in all peaceulnuclear activities o the supplied state. All parties should adopt the 1997 Protocol Additional to the1972 Saeguards Agreement between states party to the NPT and the IAEA. A global register o stocks o plutonium and highly enriched uranium should be established and regularly updated.Withdrawal o nuclear material rom international control or non-explosive purposes (such aspropulsion) must be strictly circumscribed. Under Article IV   all parties have the inalienable right to use nuclear energy or peaceul purposes. Recommendation :Parties may possess components o the peaceul nuclear uel cycle subject to appropriate IAEA controls. Supplies o uel or civilian nuclear reactors in countries not producing such uel should be internationally guaranteed. Highly enriched uranium used orcivilian purposes should be replaced by low-enriched uranium. Attacks on nuclear installationsshould be prohibited.  ideas for peace and security one ã 2009 38 Under    Article V  potential benefts rom peaceul applications o nuclear explosions are to be madeavailable to non-nuclear-weapon parties. Recommendation:  This article should be deleted. It is now generally recognized that conventionalexplosives can produce results equivalent to those o nuclear explosives, without posing health orenvironmental risks. Under    Article VI  the parties have pledged to negotiate measures relating to the cessation o thenuclear arms race and measures relating to nuclear disarmament. Recommendation : It should be made explicit that measures relating to the arms race includeadherence to the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty and the conclusion o a fssilematerial cut-o treaty, whereas measures relating to disarmament should lead to the eliminationo nuclear weapons. Negotiations must be continuous and the agreements reached must be o indefnite duration. Under    Article VII the right o any group o states to assure the total absence o nuclear weapons intheir region is afrmed. Recommendation :  This right should be reinorced by a ban on the transit o nuclear weaponsthrough nuclear-weapon-ree zones. Under    Article X each party may withdraw rom the NPT i it decides that extraordinary events have jeopardized its supreme interests. Notice o withdrawal is to be given three months in advance. Recommendation : Only a qualifed majority o the parties should have the right to determinewhether extraordinary events have occurred. Notice o withdrawal should be given one year inadvance. Otherwise, the NPT must be considered irreversible, both in time o peace and in time o war. An international mechanism must be set up to deal with cases o non-compliance. Under   the protocol  on “negative” security assurances accompanying nuclear-weapon-ree zonetreaties, each nuclear-weapon state is committed not to use or threaten to use a nuclear explosivedevice. This commitment was subsequently qualifed by France, the Russian Federation, the UnitedKingdom and the United States stating that the assurances they oered would become invalid in thecase o an invasion or any other attack on them, their territories, their armed orces or other troops,their allies, or on a state to which they have a security commitment, carried out or sustained by a non-nuclear-weapon state in association or alliance with a nuclear-weapon state. The our great powershave thus reserved or themselves the right to use nuclear weapons in a war started with non-nuclearmeans o warare. Although it was conceived as a quid pro quo or the renunciation o nuclearweapons by non-nuclear-weapon states under the NPT, prohibition on the use o nuclear weaponsmay now be treated as a potential arms control measure to be negotiated by all states, regardless o their association with the NPT. Recommendation: Employment o nuclear weapons must be defnitively prohibited, except in caseo reprisal or a nuclear aggression. A no-frst-use obligation would acilitate the process o nuclearweapons elimination.   Under Article VIII the text o any proposed amendment to the NPT must be submitted to thedepositary governments, distributed to the parties and considered at a conerence convened at therequest o at least one-third o the parties. To set the procedure in motion, unanimity or consensusis not needed. To be approved, an amendment requires a majority o votes, including those o thenuclear-weapon parties (as defned by the treaty) and those o other parties that are members o theIAEA Board o Governors on the day the text is circulated. Not all the changes proposed above would    amg h -l gm two ã 2009 39entail new legally binding obligations. Some could take the orm o politically binding undertakings orinternationally agreed interpretations. In any event, by engaging in negotiations on the issues specifedabove, no country would run a risk to its security. In case o ailure o the amendment process, theNPT would continue to be valid in its present orm. The ear expressed by certain countries that amendments will lead to the break-up o the NPT is not justifed.
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