Friday, November 2, 2007

Limited Test Ban Treaty

The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) (see on this blog) was preceded by the Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapon Tests in the Atmosphere, in Outer Space and Under Water that was signed in Moscow on August 5, 1963 by so-called 'Original Parties'-- USA, UK, USSR. Shortly, over 100 states became party to it. It sought to prevent nuclear weapon tests in the atmosphere or anywhere else if the test deposited radioactive debris outside of the state where the test took place.

Article I

1. Each of the Parties to this Treaty undertakes to prohibit, to prevent, and not to carry out any nuclear weapon test explosion, or any other nuclear explosion, at any place under its jurisdiction or control:

a) in the atmosphere; beyond its limits, including outer space; or under water, including territorial waters or high seas; or

b) in any other environment if such explosion causes radioactive debris to be present outside the territorial limits of the State under whose jurisdiction or control such explosion is conducted.

The Treaty was pushed by environmental concerns and also by the newly decolonized members of the General Assembly. Prior to this agreement, most of the nuclear weapon tests by Superpowers were conducted in the territory of former colonies or countries that were under the sphere of influence of the Original Parties... The Treaty sought to limit this practice.

In the 60s not all environmental ramifications of nuclear weapon tests were clear. Today, the world has become painfully aware of such. The fact that North Korea has joined the nuclear club and Iran is aspiring is just once again proving how lethargic and self-oblivious the humanity is...

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