Author : Aakarsh Kamra
Is the United States the genitor of all problems the world faces today? Is a question that one is forced to ask time and again? Be it the Taliban, the destruction of Iraq, the September 11 attacks and the nuclear proliferation. Nuclear proliferation can be traced back to 1945, when for the first time in history a nation tested its weapons on another nation causing enormous destruction and loss of human life. After the United States (1945), Russia (1949), United Kingdom (1952), France (1960), China (1964) and now India (1974&1998) and Pakistan (1998), have all been part of the nuclear arms race.
Since the 1950s an attempt was being made at the international level to address the threat of nuclear proliferation. In the late 60s the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty was prepared. Till date 189 states are a party to the NPT, with five states having Nuclear weapons recognized as Nuclear Weapon States under the treaty. India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea are yet to sign the treaty. The basis behind this treaty was to ensure non proliferation, Disarmament and peaceful use of Nuclear Technology. In the year 1996, another treaty known as the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) was adopted by the UN General Assembly.The aim of the treaty was to ban nuclear testing everywhere on surface, underwater, atmosphere and underground. The CTBT consists of 17 articles, two annexes and a protocol. The preamble prescribes the continued efforts towards reducing nuclear weapons globally, recognizes the cessation of all nuclear weapon test explosions and other nuclear explosions. Article I of the treaty provides for the basic obligations that must be fulfilled by a state party to the treaty which shall be discussed in detail in the subsequent sections of this research.
Article II deals with establishment of the CTBT organization to ensure the implementation of the treaty and to provide for consultation and cooperation. Article III requires every state party to the treaty to take necessary steps to implement its obligations under the treaty. Further the treaty provides for establishment of the International Monitoring System, the International Data centre, on-site inspection and confidence building measures. The treaty also contains provisions for the settlement of disputes under Article VI. The most controversial provision of the treaty is Article XVI which talks about the treaty coming into force only after the 44 countries in annexure 2 ratify the treaty.
The treaty also provides for its review on its effectiveness and operation 10 years after its entry into force. The treaty because of its entry into force clause is yet to come into force as the countries like India, Pakistan are yet to sign the treaty and the United States is still to ratify the treaty. India is strictly opposed to signing the treaty as the priorities as per the treaty are not in reality towards complete disarmament. The NPT recognized only five states having nuclear weapons to be Nuclear weapon states and does not recognize others who tested after 1967.
Therefore the CTBT is considered as just another treaty to continue recognizing all rights of the nuclear weapon states and imposing all obligations upon other state parties. The present research aims at discussing the history and the objective of CTBT in the first section, in the second section the provisions of the treaty shall be discussed. The third part shall deal with the critical aspects of the treaty. The final section shall conclude the present research.
HISTORY AND THE OBJECTIVE BEHIND CTBT
Nuclear technology finds its use in various applications, one of them being in conducting nuclear explosions, involving Hydrogen or Atomic bombs that have enormous destruction capabilities. A nuclear bomb uses nuclear reactions in the form of fission or fusion. After the Second World War, the United States was the first country to develop a bomb with nuclear capabilities and named it as trinity under the Manhattan Project, a name given to the project to develop the first atomic bomb. In the month of August the uranium bomb named Little Boy was dropped on Hiroshima and another Plutonium bomb by the name of fat Man was dropped on Nagasaki causing wide spread devastation and irreparable damage to the citizens of the two cities.
This instance though only one of its kind ever in world history had given rise to a wild race for nuclear weapons. Between 1945 and 1996 more than 2000 nuclear tests were conducted, with the United States conducting over 1000 tests, Russia conducting over 750 tests, France with more than 200 and UK and China with 45 tests. It is not that during this period and prior to the CTBT no efforts were carried out towards disarmament. In the year 1954, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru called for a standstill agreement to halt nuclear tests. In the year 1963, the Partial Test Ban Treaty was signed.
It was a treaty banning all Nuclear weapon tests in the atmosphere, in outer space and under water. It was developed to stop the nuclear arms race and stop the excessive release of nuclear fallout in the atmosphere. The concern of the treaty was to address the radioactive fallout as a result of nuclear weapons testing underwater, in the atmosphere, and on the ground’s surface, on the part of the nuclear powers. The principle states to this agreement were the US, UK and USSR. As of today 123 states have ratified this treaty and it is important to mention here that both India and Pakistan have ratified this treaty.
The most significant step towards non proliferation was the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty opened for signatures on 1st July, 1968; at present 189 states are parties to the NPT, only India, Israel, Pakistan and North Korea have not signed the treaty. The objective behind NPT is essentially Non Proliferation, Disarmament and the right to peacefully use Nuclear Technology. The treaty has yet not been signed by India as according to India it violates the sovereignty of the nation. The NPT has many controversial provisions because of which the treaty is often considered as being ineffective in terms of ensuring non proliferation and disarmament.
Article VI a controversial provision has been on numerous occasions flouted blatantly by the NWS. Further the treaty recognizes only the states that have a Nuclear weapon before 1st January 1967 as being Nuclear Weapon States thus states like India and Pakistan have been accorded only a de facto recognition as being Nuclear Weapon States. Even after signing this treaty the Nuclear weapon states have often used their strengths in nuclear technology to conduct nuclear tests and manufacture nuclear weapons.
During the review and extension conference of the treaty on Nuclear Non Proliferation in 1995 many of the Non Nuclear Weapon states were dissatisfied with the efforts of the nuclear weapon states as regards the nuclear disarmament is concerned, a Statement of Principles and Objectives for Nuclear Non proliferation and Disarmament was issued which provided for the following;
1. Complete a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty by the end of 1996
2. Reaffirm the commitment to pursue nuclear disarmament
3. Commence negotiations for a treaty to stop production of nuclear bomb materials
4. Sharply reduce global nuclear arsenals
5. Encourage the creation of nuclear-weapon-free zones
6. Vigorously work to make the treaty universal by bringing in Israel, Pakistan and India, who have nuclear weapons and remain outside the treaty
7. Enhance IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] safeguards and verification capacity
8. Reinforce negative security assurances already given to NNWS against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons against them.
In the NPT Review Conference, 13 steps were taken for disarmament. They were steps under the review conference of 2000 for the systematic and progressive efforts towards implementing Article VI of the treaty on Non Proliferation. Thereafter in the year 1974 the Threshold Test Ban Treaty was signed by US and USSR. It establishes a nuclear “threshold,” by prohibiting nuclear tests of devices having a yield exceeding 150 kilotons. These treaties failed in their objectives when India under the leadership of Smt. Indira Gandhi in 1974 tested the nuclear weapons raising widespread concerns of a nuclear arms race in specifically in Asia and especially from Pakistan.
In the year 1991 the parties to the Partial Test Ban Treaty held a conference to ban nuclear tests in all forms. The negotiations for a comprehensive test ban treaty began in 1993, the Geneva Convention on disarmament in the year 1994 directed its Ad Hoc committee to begin negotiations on a universal, verifiable comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty which shall ultimately aid in the enhancement of international peace and security. The UNGA passed a resolution 49/70 reaffirming its support to multilateral negotiations on CTBT.
It is interesting to note here that while negotiations were going on to adopt a comprehensive treaty, countries like China, France and Russia resumed nuclear testing. On December 12th 1995, the UNGA passed another resolution 50/70 asking the Convention on Disarmament to conclude the treaty so as to enable it to open it for signature by the 51st assembly. In August 1996, the Ad Hoc Committee of the Convention on disarmament reports that no consensus could be reached either for adopting the treaty or passing it to the convention on disarmament because of India’s objections.
In late August, 96 Australia sponsored a resolution seeking endorsement from UNGA of CTBT and its opening for signatures. In September the UNGA adopted the convention and sought for an earliest date for the opening of the treaty for signatures. The treaty thereafter opened for signatures on 24th of September when it was signed by 71 states. As on today it has been signed by 182 states and ratified by 150 states. The United States, China, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran and Israel have signed the treaty but have not ratified it. India, Pakistan and North Korea have still not signed it.
The comprehensive test ban treaty aimed at making it impossible for states who did not have Nuclear weapons to acquire them or the states having them, being prohibited from acquiring more weapons. The treaty has yet not come into force as one of the provisions of the treaty prescribe that it shall only come into force after 180 days of ratification by the member states mentioned in the annexure. The provisions of the treaty need a proper analysis before one can evaluate the same. The subsequent section gives an overview of the provisions of the treaty.
A STUDY OF THE PROVISIONS OF THE COMPREHENSIVE TEST
The preamble prescribes for welcoming and underling the importance of international treaties and agreement aimed at Nuclear Disarmament and Non Proliferation. The treaty also affirms the belief of the state parties that in order to end nuclear testing it is essential that a universally and internationally and effectively verifiable comprehensive Nuclear test ban treaty, noting the aspirations of various treaties to discontinue all test explosions for all times.
Article I provides for basic obligations of the state party of not carrying out any nuclear weapons test explosion or any other nuclear explosion and to prohibit and prevent any nuclear explosion. Sub clause (2) of the article provides that they will not conduct tests, not only in their territory but elsewhere and shall refrain from participating, encouraging and causing the carrying out of nuclear tests.
Article II provides for the establishment of the CTBT organization to achieve the purpose of the treaty and to work on the implementation of its provisions including verification and to provide a forum for consultation and cooperation among the state parties. All state parties shall be members of the organization. The seat of the organization shall be in Vienna and there shall be the following organs of the organization;
• Conference of state parties
• Executive council
• Technical secretariat
It shall be the duty of each and every state party to cooperate with the organization in the exercise of its functions. The organization requests any information or data, the state shall obey it and precaution to protect the confidentiality of the information shall be taken. The organization shall utilize expertise and facilities as appropriate to maximize cost efficiencies through arrangements with other international organizations such as the IAEA.
Conference of state parties
The conference shall consist of all state parties each state party shall have one representative in the conference who may be accompanied by alternates and advisors, alternates refer to persons in cases where the representatives are not present. The first meeting shall be held not later than 30 days after the entry into force of this treaty. The treaty provides that the conference shall meet annually in regular sessions. Special sessions shall be convened in the following circumstances,
a) On a decision by the conference
b) When requested by the executive council
c) When requested by the state party and supported by the majority of state parties.
The Conference shall take decisions on matters of procedure by a majority of members present and voting. Decisions on matters of substance shall be taken as far as possible by consensus. If consensus is not attainable when an issue comes up for decision, the President of the Conference shall defer any vote for 24 hours and during this period of deferment shall make every effort to facilitate achievement of consensus, and shall report to the Conference before the end of this period.
If consensus is not possible at the end of 24 hours, the Conference shall take a decision by a two-thirds majority of members present and voting unless specified otherwise in this Treaty. When the question arises as to whether the question is of substance or not it shall be decided as being a question of substance unless otherwise decided by the majority. The Conference shall be the principal organ of the Organization. It shall consider any questions, matters or issues within the scope of this Treaty, including those relating to the powers and functions of the Executive Council and the Technical Secretariat, in accordance with this Treaty.
The conference shall have the sessions at the seat of the organization unless the conference decides otherwise. It shall oversee the implementation of the treaty and also the activities of the executive council and the technical secretariat and may issue guidelines. It shall elect the members of the executive council. Appoint the director general of the technical secretariat.
The Conference shall:
(a) Consider and adopt the report of the Organization on the implementation of this Treaty and the annual programme and budget of the Organization, submitted by the Executive Council, as well as consider other reports;
(b) Decide on the scale of financial contributions to be paid by States.
(c) Elect the members of the Executive Council
(d) Appoint the Director-General of the Technical Secretariat
(e) Consider and approve the rules of the executive council.
Considering, the scientific and technological developments that can have an impact on the operation of the treaty. The conference may direct the director general to establish a scientific advisory board. In its initial session the conference may approve of any arrangements, provisions, procedures, operational manuals, guidelines developed and recommended by the preparatory commission. The Executive Council shall consist of 51 members and every state party shall have the right to serve on the executive council. The executive council shall comprise of
a) 10 state parties from Africa
b) 7 state parties from Eastern Europe.
c) 9 state parties from Latin America and Caribbean
d) 7 state parties from the Middle East and south Asia
e) 10 state parties from North America and Western Europe
f) 8 state parties from south East Asia, pacific and the far-east.
Constitution of executive council
The following criteria shall be followed in order of priority
a) Number of monitoring facilities of international monitoring system
b) Experience and expertise in monitoring technology
c) Contribution to annual budget of the organization
At least one of the seats is allotted shall be filled on rotational basis in English alphabetical order and the states those who have not served as executive council for the longest period since becoming the state parties. The rest shall be filed by state parties designated by rotation or elections. Each member of the executive council shall have one representative who may have alternatives as well as advisors.
Each member of the executive council shall hold office from the end of session of the conference at which the member is elected till the end of the second regular session which implies that members of the council shall be termed for 2 years, election shall happen during session but shall hold office after end of session till the end of second regular session. It is also important to mention that each member of the council shall have a single vote. All the members shall not retire at the same time thus adopting rotation and experience.
Decision of the executive council how made?
The executive council shall take decisions on matters of procedure by a majority of all its members. Decisions on matters shall be taken by 2/3rd majority of members on decisions of substance. The executive council shall be the executive organ of the organization and shall be responsible to the conference. In complying with the provisions of the treaty acting in conformity with the recommendations, decisions and guidelines of the conference and ensure their proper implementation. The executive council shall promote the effective implementation and the compliance with the provisions of the treaty. The activities of the technical secretariat shall be supervised by the council.
The council shall establish cooperation with the national authority of each state party. The draft annual budget of each state party shall be considered by the council, the draft report on implementation of the provisions of this treaty. The report on performance of, its own activities and other matters which it may deem fit or those which the conference may request.
The council shall approve or supervise the operation of arrangements or agreements relating to the implementation of the verification activities with state parties and other states. The executive council shall facilitate cooperation among and between state parties and technical secretariat through information exchanges. Facilitation of consultation and clarification of state parties.
The executive council shall consider the concerns raised by the state party about the non compliance of the provisions of this treaty and the abuse of rights. Hold consultation with the state parties and requesting them to take appropriate measures to redress the situation within the specified time. The Technical Secretariat shall assist the state parties in the implementation of this treaty. It shall assist the executive council and the conference in performance of their functions. The technical secretariat shall carry out the functions entrusted to it by the treaty and also the functions entrusted to by the council or the conference.
It shall also include the international data centre. The functions of the technical secretariat with respect to the verification of compliance with provisions of this article shall be;
• Shall be responsible for the supervision and coordination of the operation of the international monitoring system.
• Operating the international data centre.
• Routine reception, processing, reporting of the international monitory system data.
• Providing technical assistance in support of installation and operation of the international monitoring system.
• Assisting the executive council in consultation and clarification process among state parties.
• Receiving information about the onsite inspection and providing technical assistance during the conduct of onsite inspection.
• Negotiating arrangements or agreements with state parties subject to the executive council with respect to the verification activities with state parties or other states.
• Assisting the state parties through national authorities on issues of verification.
The technical secretariat shall perform the following functions with respect to technical matters;
• Preparing to the executive council the budget and draft program of the organization.
• Preparing and submitting the draft report of the organization on the implementation of the treaty and such other reports as the conference or the executive council may prescribe.
• Providing technical and administrative support to the conference, executive council or other subsidiary organs.
• Addressing and receiving communication as regards implementation of the provisions of this treaty.
• Carrying out administrative responsibilities relating to agreements between organizations and other organizations.
The Technical Secretariat shall comprise a Director-General, who shall be its head and chief administrative officer, scientific, technical and other personnel as may be prescribed.
Technical Secretariat shall determine and maintain a clear accounting of all costs for each facility established as part of the International Monitoring System. The Technical Secretariat shall promptly inform the Executive Council of any problems that have arisen with regard to the discharge of its functions that have come to its notice in the performance of its activities and that it has been unable to resolve through consultations with the State Party concerned.
The Director-General shall be appointed by the Conference upon the recommendation of the Executive Council for a term of four years, renewable for one further term, but not thereafter. In the performance of their duties, the Director-General, the inspectors, the inspection assistants and the members of the staff shall not seek or receive instructions from any Government or from any other source external to the Organization.
The first Director-General shall be appointed by the Conference at its initial session upon the recommendation of the Preparatory Commission. The Director-General shall be responsible to the Conference and the Executive Council for the appointment of the staff and for the organization and functioning of the Technical Secretariat. Only citizens of States Parties shall serve as the Director-General, as inspectors or as members of the professional and clerical staff.
The director general shall after consultation with the executive council establish temporary scientific working groups. The Director-General shall assume responsibility for the activities of an inspection team. The state parties shall not influence the members, director general, inspectors, inspection assistants in discharge of their responsibilities.
Priveliges and Immunities
The Organization shall enjoy on the territory and in any other place under the jurisdiction or control of a State Party such legal capacity and such privileges and immunities as are necessary for the exercise of its functions. The legal capacity, privileges and immunities referred to in this Article shall be defined in agreements between the Organization and the State Parties as well as in an agreement between the Organization and the State in which the Organization is seated.
The privileges and immunities enjoyed by the Director-General, the inspectors, the inspection assistants and the members of the staff of the Technical Secretariat during the conduct of verification activities shall be those set forth in the Protocol.
Article III provides for National Implementation Measures
Each state party shall in compliance with its constitutional principles take necessary steps to implement its obligations under the treaty;
To prohibit natural and legal persons anywhere on its territory or in any other place under its jurisdiction as recognized by international law from undertaking any activity prohibited to a State Party under this Treaty;
(b) To prohibit natural and legal persons from undertaking any such activity anywhere under its control; and
(c) To prohibit, in conformity with international law, natural persons possessing its nationality from undertaking any such activity anywhere.
Each state party will cooperate with the other and provide legal assistance to facilitate the implementation of the obligations. In order to fulfill its obligations under the Treaty, each State Party shall designate or set up a National Authority and shall so inform the Organization upon entry into force of the Treaty for it. The National Authority shall serve as the national focal point for liaison with the Organization and with other States Parties.
The treaty provides for verification measures under Article IV. The verification regime shall be established consisting of
a) International monitoring system.
b) Consultation and clarification
c) On-site inspection
d) Confidence building measures
The article provides that the verification process shall be based on objective information, limited to the subject matter of the treaty and shall be limited to the subject matter of the treaty, having full respect for the sovereignty of the state parties.
Each state party shall through its national authority cooperate with organization and the other state parties to facilitate the process of verification and shall provide for the following;
(a) Establishing the necessary facilities to participate in these verification measures and establishing the necessary communication;
(b) Providing data obtained from national stations that are part of the International Monitoring System;
(c) Participating, as appropriate, in a consultation and clarification process;
(d) Permitting the conduct of on-site inspections; and
(e) Participating, as appropriate, in confidence-building measures.
All States Parties, irrespective of their technical and financial capabilities, shall enjoy the equal right of verification and assume the equal obligation to accept verification.
The International Monitoring System shall comprise facilities for seismological monitoring, radionuclide monitoring including certified laboratories, hydro acoustic monitoring, infrasound monitoring, and respective means of communication, and shall be supported by the International Data Centre of the Technical Secretariat.
Without prejudice to the right of any State Party to request an on-site inspection, States Parties should, whenever possible, first make every effort to clarify and resolve, among them or with or through the Organization, any matter which may cause concern about possible non-compliance with the basic obligations of this Treaty.
Each State Party has the right to request an on-site inspection. The sole purpose of an on-site inspection shall be to clarify whether a nuclear weapon test explosion or any other nuclear explosion has been carried out in violation of Article I and, to the extent possible, to gather any facts which might assist in identifying any possible violator.
The Executive Council shall take a decision on the on-site inspection request no later than 96 hours after receipt of the request from the requesting State Party. The decision to approve the on-site inspection shall be made by at least 30 affirmative votes of members of the Executive Council. If the Executive Council does not approve the inspection, preparations shall be stopped and no further action on the request shall be taken.
Review of the treaty
Article VIII provides that unless otherwise decided by a majority of the States Parties, ten years after the entry into force of this Treaty a Conference of the States Parties shall be held to review the operation and effectiveness of this Treaty, with a view to assuring itself that the objectives and purposes in the Preamble and the provisions of the Treaty are being realized. Such review shall take into account any new scientific and technological developments relevant to this Treaty.
Duration and withdrawal
The treaty shall be for an unlimited duration of time. Each state party in the exercise of its national security shall have the power to withdraw from the treaty if it jeopardizes its supreme interests. Withdrawal shall be affected by giving notice six months in advance to all other States Parties, the Executive Council, the Depositary and the United Nations Security Council. Notice of withdrawal shall include a statement of the extraordinary event or events which a State Party regards as jeopardizing its supreme interests.
Article V of the treaty provides for the measures meant to remedy conflicts between the states, when the states do not comply with the provisions of the treaty. The Article gives the conference the power in consultation with the executive council to punish for non compliance and to provide for redressal of conflicts. The conference shall have the power to suggest to the states to take collective measures in case of non compliance and give the conference the necessary power to go to the United Nations in case of urgency.
Article VII provides for dispute settlement procedures for disputes between states. Article XIV of the treaty is probably the most controversial provisions under the treaty, the provision states that the treaty shall come into force after 180 days of deposit of instruments of ratification by the states listed in Annex-2 of the treaty but the treaty shall in no case enter into force before 2 years after its opening for signatures. This provision shall be analysed in detail in the subsequent section of critical analysis of the treaty. In case of this provision the important thing to note is that countries like India, China, Israel, Pakistan, North Korea have not signed the treaty but the United States even though has signed but is yet to ratify the treaty.
THE CTBT, IS IT COMPREHENSIVE OR JUST ANOTHER
INSTRUMENT TO UPHOLD THE NUCLEAR HEGEMONY
After China tested its Nuclear weapons in 1964, efforts started being made for prohibiting other countries from joining the arms race. The NPT was an example of such efforts aimed at prohibiting countries from conducting nuclear tests and pressurizing the nuclear weapon states for carrying out nuclear disarmament. However in spite of the efforts the nuclear weapon states continued testing and stockpiling of weapons both openly as well as clandestinely giving at various occasions the explanation that stockpiling and maintaining the nuclear arsenal is essential for security purposes.
Before presenting a criticism of the CTBT one is forced to ask the question as to why do we need a nuclear weapon in the first place, let alone the hara kiri committed by the US on Japan in 1945 where massive devastation was caused, apart from that incident no further use has ever taken place or reported. If South Africa can disarm and destroy its entire nuclear weapon arsenal for military, then one fails to understand the compulsion of the United States or the other nuclear haves in not resorting to disarmament. This is surprising because it boasts of being the most powerful nation in all respects in the world today.
On analyzing the treaty, the preamble highlights two objectives, non proliferation and nuclear disarmament. Under Article 1 of the treaty it is provided that the state parties shall undertake not to conduct any nuclear weapon test explosion or any other nuclear explosion. The treaty prohibits all kinds of nuclear explosion but does not say anything about the tests which do not employ nuclear explosions and are conducted with the help of simulation techniques and use of computers, which implies its non comprehensive nature.
The US, Russia, and other Nuclear Weapons States are continuing nuclear weapons research and development using stockpile stewardship technologies including “subcritical” explosive underground tests involving plutonium. Subcritical nuclear tests are not considered full nuclear tests because they do not achieve a self-sustained chain reaction. However, the tests do involve high explosives blown up with fissile material which is usually plutonium.
Sophisticated equipment record data from the test that is later fed into computers. Although not full nuclear weapons tests, subcritical testing violates the heart and spirit of the CTBT. The US and Russia claim that subcritical tests are needed to maintain the safety and reliability of their nuclear stockpiles. The mockery of the treaties can be witnessed from the day NPT was renewed for an indefinite period in 1995 and china and France conducted a series of tests within weeks of the renewal. This further demonstrated the discrimination as well as showcased an attempt by the nuclear haves to retain their nuclear hegemony.
In the drafting phase of the treaty Indonesia had suggested in the conference of disarmament that the treaty should be extended to cover the prohibition of sub critical experiment but later it withdrew for the sake of consensus and compromise. Article VIII of the treaty provides for review conference after a period of 10 years. This period of 10 years is too long as within this span new technological developments and advancements can take place and countries can get time to develop their nuclear programs.
Article IX that talks about supreme interest clause, i.e. a state can withdraw from the treaty once extra ordinary events jeopardize the supreme interest of the nation. The provision has serious flaws as regards its drafting is concerned. The term extraordinary events is too vague and a country should not be allowed to decide on its own the criteria for withdrawing out from the treaty. An example of the same is the state of North Korea signing the NPT however it acquired nuclear weapons under the guise of peaceful testing and later withdrawing from the NPT developed its own nuclear arsenal.
Under the verification provision, two sets of verification measures are adopted, one being the sophisticated verification measure which includes the international monetary system and the on-site inspection. The other being supplementary mechanism for verification which is the consultation and clarification process and the confidence building measures. The state parties are subject to on- site inspection. A weakness though is still prevalent under the provision which states that a country may refuse on-site inspections if the nuclear installations are unrelated to nuclear build up or are vital to national security. This exception gives too much of space for misuse.
The article XIV provides that unless the 44 states mentioned under the annexure ratify the treaty the same shall not come into force. This provision is believed by many states including India to be violative of their sovereign right to enter or refrain from entering into an international treaty.
Under Article 18 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties 1969, obligates the signatories as well as ratifying members not to act contrary to the object and purpose of the treaty prior to its entry into force. However this provision of the convention seems to be blatantly violated by the signatories as well as ratifying members who have in spite of acceding to the terms of the treaty continued to carry out nuclear weapon tests.
India has since the 1950’s been vociferous as regards nuclear disarmament goes however the steps taken by the 5 nuclear have’s point at nothing but lack of will to let the nuclear hegemony sink and adopt a policy of disarmament.
India’s Objections to the CTBT
According to the Indian government, its principle stand has been of not signing the treaty in its present form because of the following four reasons;
a) The focus of the treaty is more inclined towards non proliferation and less towards nuclear disarmament, the nuclear weapon states did little to express their willingness to disarm.
b) The treaty does not include tests that are carried out with the help of simulation and tests which are subcritical in nature, which has already been discussed previously.
c) It increased the divide between the haves and the have-nots, the article IX of the treaty was flawed as it gave any country the right to withdraw from the treaty after citing the reason of supreme interest.
d) The entry into force clause under Article XIV undermines India’s sovereign interests.
The reasons given by a senator19 of the United States20 look quite appalling; he states that the reasons for not ratifying the treaty are;
• It will jeopardize the safety and security of the Nuclear Arsenal.
• The treaty is poorly drafted and will not result in nuclear non proliferation
• There is no scope for verification or enforceability
Nuclear Technology has immense potential in power generation, medicines, making of smoke detectors and food processing and agriculture. With the growth and further advances in this field its application extended to nuclear weapons. The devastation and the extent of destruction which a nuclear bomb is capable of can be witnessed from the Hiroshima- Nagasaki disaster of 1945. This incident instigated countries capable of producing nuclear weapons to join the arms race. India since 1954 was opposed to the possession of Nuclear weapons and strongly advocated the policy of Nuclear disarmament.
Attempts discussed earlier, such as the PTBT, NPT were made to prohibit countries from conducting nuclear tests anywhere. The NPT was the first concrete step taken towards non proliferation of nuclear weapons, however countries like India in spite of strongly advocating Nuclear Disarmament did not sign the treaty for the simple reason that the treaty was excessively discriminatory, imposed plethora of duties on the Non Nuclear weapon states and gave all rights to the Nuclear weapon states. In spite of being signatories to the treaty the nuclear haves continued to carry out tests thus blatantly violating the spirit of the treaty.
Poor drafting in case of NPT can be held responsible for its failure. The CTBT is another such instrument which has failed in its objective of Non proliferation and Disarmament and once again the cause can be attributed to poor drafting. The treaty lacks a coherent implementation and enforcement mechanism which is very vital for ensuring that the provisions of the treaty are being complied by both the NWS as well as the NNWS without any discrimination. In the present form the flaws inherent in the treaty will not result in any fruitful outcome when the issue is of nuclear disarmament.