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Special Session on Disarmament (SSOD)-1

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    24th Feb, 2021


The Special Session on Disarmament (SSOD)-1, the Conference on Disarmament's agenda was held recently under the presidency of Brazil.

What is Special Session on Disarmament (SSOD)?

  • The United Nations Special Session on Disarmament (SSOD) was held in 1978.
  • The agenda for the SSOD included:
  • a review and appraisal of the present international situation
  • the adoption of a Declaration on Disarmament
  • the adoption of a Programme of Action on Disarmament
  • a review of the role of the UN in disarmament

Significant nuclear non-proliferation treaties

Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)

  • The NPT is an international treaty, which entered into force in 1970.
  • Objective: 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.
  • Pakistan, Israel, North Korea, Iran, South Africa, Libya, Syria are some of the other nations which either have not signed the treaty or do not comply with it if ratified.
  • India did not sign the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), which it views as discriminatory.

Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT)

  • CTBT is a multilateral treaty that bans all nuclear tests, for both civilian and military purposes, in all environments.
  • It was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1996 but has not entered into force, as eight specific nations have not ratified the treaty.
  • The United States and China are the only remaining NPT Nuclear Weapon States that have not ratified the CTBT.
  • India has also not ratified it.

New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty)

  • It is a nuclear arms reduction treaty between the United States and the Russian Federation with the formal name of Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms.
  • It was signed in 2010 in Prague.
  • New START replaced the Treaty of Moscow (SORT), which was to expire in December 2012.

Nuclear Weapon Ban Treaty

  • The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), or the Nuclear Weapon Ban Treaty, is the first legally binding international agreement to comprehensively prohibit nuclear weapons with the ultimate goal being their total elimination.
  • It entered into force on 22 January 2021.

India’s commitment towards disarmaments

  • In the current Conference, India reiterated its commitment towards nuclear disarmament at the conference on Disarmament.
  • Though the country did not sign the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), it has long stated that it desires a world free of nuclear weapons.
  • India joined all other nuclear-possessing states in boycotting the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weaponsnegotiations in the United Nations in 2017. 
  • India has not signed the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT).
  • Along with the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), India is a strong advocate for a time-bound disarmament commitment from nuclear-weapon-states (NWS)and may use the lack of a commitment as a reason to refrain from signing the CTBT.
  • In early March 2006, India and the United States finalized an agreement, in the face of criticism in both countries, to restart cooperation on civilian nuclear technology.
    • Under the deal, India has committed to classify 14 of its 22 nuclear power plants as being for civilian use and to place them under IAEA safeguards.