What is the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)?
The Non-Proliferation Treaty is a multilateral treaty drafted by the 18-Nation Committee on Disarmament. It is a UN-sponsored organization that is based in Switzerland. The NPT aims to limit the spread of nuclear weapons, including three elements:
- Peaceful use of atomic energy
- India is not a member of this treaty.
- NPT was signed in 1968 and took effect in 1970. The Non-Proliferation Treaty involves 191 nations.
- The United States used atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, ending World War 2 but causing immense casualties and radiation sickness.
- The bombings raised concerns among world powers about nuclear arms control.
- In 1961, a United Nations resolution called for the Non-Proliferation Treaty to prevent a nuclear arms race.
Members of the Non-Proliferation Treaty
- 191 states have joined the NPT, including 5 nuclear-weapon states, making it the largest arms limitation treaty.
- Nuclear-weapon states parties under the NPT are defined as those that manufactured and exploded a nuclear weapon or other nuclear explosive devices before 1st January 1967.
- The NPT prevents non-nuclear countries from acquiring nuclear weapons and forbids nuclear-weapon states from aiding others in acquiring them.
- The treaty aims for complete disarmament.
- Out of the 9 nations with nuclear weapons, 5 (the US, France, the UK, Russia, and China) s
- India, Israel, Pakistan, and North Korea, South Sudan have not signed the NPT.
- India is one of the only five countries that either did not sign the NPT or signed but withdrew later, thus becoming part of a list that includes Pakistan, Israel, North Korea, and South Sudan.
- India always considered the NPT as discriminatory and refused to sign it.
- India has opposed the international treaties aimed at non-proliferation since they were selectively applicable to the non-nuclear powers and legitimized the monopoly of the five nuclear weapons powers.