1945

Nuclear-Arms limitation and disarmament; prevention of nuclear war

Not long after atomic weapons were first developed, and then with the advent of thermonuclear weapons and the recognition of their devastating power, the international community became aware that it faced the risk of self-destruction. The measures proposed to avert or reduce that risk include the cessation of nuclear-weapon tests; the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons; the cut-off of the production of fissionable material for weapons purposes; a freeze on the production of additional nuclear weapons; the checking of the spread of missile technology; and, more generally, the limitation, reduction and elimination of nuclear weapons and their delivery systems. Yet the qualitative improvement and destructive capability of the available nuclear weapons have continued to increase, amounting to what has been called “overkill capacity”. In addition to the five nuclear-weapon States—China, France, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and the United States—from 15 to 25 other States are believed to be able to develop nuclear weapons, should they decide to do so.

Related Subject(s): Disarmament
Sustainable Development Goals:
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