Comprehensive test-ban treaty

The question of nuclear-weapon-test explosions represents one of the longest-standing issues on the disarmament agenda of the international community. It has been dealt with in the framework of multilateral, trilateral and bilateral negotiations since 1954. Interest in the subject first arose as the general public became increasingly aware of the harmful nature and effects of the fallout from atmospheric nuclear tests and as it became apparent that no region could avoid being affected by radioactive debris. The issue of the ban on nuclear-weapon tests was subsequently pursued intermittently as an element of comprehensive plans for arms control and disarmament, as a separate measure interlinked with progress in other disarmament are and as an arms limitation issue on its own. In each case, the question of verification has played an important role and has influenced the course and outcome of the negotiations. As of 1995, three treaties on nuclear testing—one multilateral (Partial Test-Ban Treaty of 1963) and two bilateral (treaties on limitation of yields of nuclear tests for military and peaceful purposes between the USSR and the United States)—are in effect. None is comprehensive.

Related Subject(s): Disarmament
Sustainable Development Goals:
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