General and complete disarmament (GCD), especially nuclear disarmament, is embedded in the DNA of the United Nations. Based on the role of GCD in the United Nations and the treaty obligation to negotiate a GCD treaty contained in article VI of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), GCD is clearly a global political aim of the highest order; beyond that, it is arguably an obligation of customary international law applying to all States, including those outside the NPT. In view of the practice of States since the NPT was negotiated, the fulfilment of the obligation of nuclear disarmament articulated in NPT article VI is not legally contingent on the achievement of GCD. However, the inclusion in article VI of the objectives of both nuclear disarmament and GCD underlines the practical, mutually reinforcing relationship between nuclear disarmament and control and the elimination of other strategic weapon systems.

Related Subject(s): Disarmament
Sustainable Development Goals:
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