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Report on Disarmament: nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation - Essay Example

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This paper is a report on disarmament. The opening of the report consists of the definitions and conceptions of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation goals met in 2010 and challenges faced by the international community in 2010…
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Report on Disarmament: nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation
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Download file to see previous pages The paper tells that the discovery of a natural phenomenon in the late 1890s, which have been given the name ‘radioactivity’ by Marie and Pierre Curie and later defined by Ernest Rutherford as a spontaneous event emitting alpha or beta particles from the atomic nuclei, and creating a different element, marked the beginning of new epoch. Having involved the efforts of many scientists from different countries, the exploration of this phenomenon produced major breakthroughs – from Bohr’s advanced understanding of the atomic structure, through Frederick Soddy’s discovery of the existence of isotopes, to the first experimental conformation of Albert Einstein’s concept of mass-energy equivalence carried out by Otto Frisch in 1939. From that time on, the idea of harnessing the nuclear fission ranged the way from a tempting possibility to an alluring opportunity in both scientific laboratories and politicians’ cabinets, to eventually reach its notorious first practical application in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. Nuclear weapons are beyond a shadow of a doubt the most dangerous weapons the human civilization has ever known, with an enormous potential for devastation and far-reaching implications for the life on earth. Apart from the bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki – in fact, the only two occasions when nuclear weapons have been used in warfare – there were more than 2 000 nuclear tests to date, conducted both underground and in the atmosphere, which clearly demonstrated the immense and previously unimaginable destructive potential of those weapons. (UNODA, n.d.). The invention of nuclear weapons, however, is thought to have produced two major effects upon the post-World War II world – first, it dramatically changed the national security strategies of all important players in the international system, having presented the great powers with ultimate means of mutual deterrence (Burns, 2010); and second, these changes inter alia spurred a series of disarmament talks and negotiations, giving birth to international disarmament-led activism, movements, and formal organizations. Since the destructive power of nuclear weapons went far beyond the scope of the Geneva Conventions’ rules dealing with the protection of civil populations in times of war, many believed that nuclear weapons should be specifically prohibited, defining the use of nuclear weapons as a violation of the international humanitarian law (The Free Dictionary, 2012). A logical step, therefore, appeared the Treaty on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons (NPT), opened for signature in 1968 and entered into force in 1970, which assumed that the proliferation of nuclear weapons seriously enhance the risk of nuclear war and called for an agreement on the prevention of wider dissemination of such weapons (UNODA, n.d.; NPT). Considering the limitations of the status quo, the treaty provided for a prohibition against the possession of nuclear weapons by all states, except for the nuclear weapon states – defined by the treaty as ones that had manufactured and tested either a nuclear weapon or other nuclear explosive device prior to 1967 (The Free Dictionary, 2012). The NPT is a landmark international treaty aimed at preventing the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, promoting cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear energy, and achieving the goal of nuclear disarmament; the treaty represents the only binding commitment to the goal of disarmament by the nuclear-weapons states (UNODA, n.d.). The twin issues of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation appear integral parts of the international safeguards system under the responsibility of IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency), with a scope that ranges from preventing the diversion of fissile material into weapons to addressing undeclared nuclear activities (WNA, 2011). The nuclear ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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