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India must develop capabilities in i-forensics for dealing with bioterrorism and biowarfare. Somehow, there seems to be a lack of stringent international mechanism. Under such circumstances, India should put all its efforts in developing a scientifically and legally acceptable system for rapid diagnosis and forensics of pathogenic agents.

It is high time, the international community shall work together in making BTWC a robust convention so that the diversion of resources that are globally available in developing biological weapons must not take place. Mustard Gas is one of the earliest chemicals to be weaponised. It was used by both Allies and central powers during World War I. Mustard Gas do not need to be inhaled to be effective.

Even skin contact with 0. Hence, the threat emanating from Chemical Weapons from a terrorism point of view has thrown open many challenges to the international community.

Washington, D.C. workshop on Prospects for a Middle East WMD-free Zone

Ricin is a bio-toxin, which is a poisonous chemical that is made from plants or animals. It is made from the waste left over from processing castor beans into castor oil. The various other Chemical Weapons include Sarin, which is a warfare agent and targets the nervous system and inhibits it from functioning properly.

It is 26 times as deadly as cyanide gas. Sarin was also used by the terrorist group Aum Shinrikyo in the Tokyo subway attack during March The lethal dose of VX nerve gas can be as little as 10 milligrams. VX is more toxic than Sarin and it is the most deadly of the nerve gases.

The United States and Russia possess more than ten lethal doses of biochemical toxin for every human on earth. The challenge before the international community has been to contain the proliferation of chemical weapons. The CWC is a multilateral treaty that bans chemical weapons and requires their destruction within a specified period of time. The treaty is of unlimited duration and is far more comprehensive than any prior international agreement on chemical weapons.

Two of the major non-signatories to the CWC, North Korea and Syria should be brought under the ambit so that the possibility of diversion of Chemical Weapons to the non-state actors does not exist. The grave danger and the threat to the mankind and the ecosystem in the current international security environment come from nuclear weapons and nuclear materials.

The security and protection of nuclear weapons and fissile materials has always been of a great concern for the nuclear weapon states. The possibility of such weapons or materials falling into terrorist hands has grown in the recent years because Pakistan has emerged as the epicenter of terrorism.

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The close nexus between Taliban and Al-Qaeda in the last one decade have made the situations worst. The challenge before the nuclear weapon states has been to prevent the theft or illegal purchase of fissile material by the non-state actors. It must be stressed here that the nuclear terrorism must be controlled at the source. There might have been repeated attempts by the Al Qaeda to acquire nuclear material.

It is plausible that a sophisticated terrorist group could build at least a crude nuclear explosive. The amounts needed to build a bomb are small. But, one would require a dedicated infrastructure. The greatest fear is that a worker at a nuclear facility could be bought by the Al Qaeda and help in providing with the small amount of fissile material. There seems to be some seriousness and recognition that nuclear terrorism is imminent and hence, there is a renewed debate on global nuclear disarmament.

The complete elimination of nuclear weapons will not be the only answer unless and until one assures the protection and security of fissile materials. The dismantlement of nuclear warheads would release lots of fissile materials. Pasechnik confirmed Western suspicions of the vast, illicit Soviet biological and toxin weapons programme — a programme not formally acknowledged until February , when President Yeltsin promised to close it.

They questioned whether these programmes had ceased and the capabilities been abandoned. Russia did not declare any binary weapons programs either in development or production. Although the State Department claimed that the political will was present at the highest levels in Russia, it 28 Weapons of Mass Destruction affirmed that intransigence, resistance and mismanagement persisted at lower levels. Moreover, work outside the scope of legitimate biological defense activity may be occurring now at selected facilities within Russia.

The abortive coup of 19 August aroused acute American anxieties. On 27 September President Bush announced the unilateral elimination of the entire US arsenal of short-range nuclear missile warheads and artillery shells, as well as the withdrawal of all tactical warheads from ships and attack submarines, hoping to secure a similar commitment from Mikhail Gorbachev which duly appeared on 3 October.

When the Soviet Union actually disintegrated in December , the US had to confront the prospect that some 3, strategic and 6, tactical nuclear weapons would be located in republics outside Russia. The Bush administration wanted to ensure that all former Soviet nuclear weapons, particularly the smaller, easily transported and widely dispersed tactical nuclear weapons, remained under single unified secure control, and that four independent nuclear states Russia, the Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Belarus did not emerge from the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

He was particularly concerned lest equipment, materials and expertise should be sold in the international marketplace by the thousands of scientists, engineers and technicians formerly employed in well-paid, prestigious WMD and missile programmes. Assisted by Congressional allocations, Baker and his staff were able to offer technical advice and assistance on the disabling, transfer and secure storage of nuclear weapons as well as legal advice on the terms of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty START 1, July The United States also delayed recognition until it was more confident that the three republics outside Russia would honour their assurances at Alma Ata, 21 December to preserve a unified command and control under the Joint Military High Command of the Commonwealth of Independent States CIS , based in Moscow.

The nuclear weapons had been inherited by newly independent states NIS at a time when they were highly susceptible to external pressure and economic inducement. Any thoughts about the possible gains of international status to be derived from retaining nuclear weapons had to be balanced by the risks including the possible loss of economic aid and the suspension of political ties and the costs of doing so notably the economic and technical demands of maintaining the inherited weapons.

UN holds debate on nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction

President Leonid Kravchuk and his senior policymakers also realised that the Ukraine, as a newly independent and isolated state with a parlous economy, could not afford the political and economic costs of retaining an overt nuclear weapons programme. It sought both economic compensation and strategic reassurances from Russia and the United States, eventually signing a tripartite pact in Moscow 14 January whereby the Ukraine agreed to transfer all nuclear warheads on its territory to Russia for dismantling, in exchange for fuel rods from Russia for its nuclear plants, economic aid including forgiveness of its multi-billion dollar oil and gas debt to Russia , and security assurances from Russia and the United States.

Prospects, Objectives and Challenges for the NPT Preparatory Committee Meeting | VCDNP

Adhering to an international norm doubtless helped to rationalise the purchase of Ukrainian weapons by foreign governments. Kazakhstan removed all nuclear warheads to Russia by April and eliminated all of its deployed SS silos by the autumn of Despite joint endeavours to construct a secure storage facility at the Mayark Production Association near Ozersk, and the cooperation between nuclear-weapon laboratories Los Alamos and Arzamas , as well as the creation of International Science and Technology Centres in Moscow and Kiev to 32 Weapons of Mass Destruction find alternative work for nuclear engineers and weapon designers, reports of fissile-smuggling persisted.

Although the vast majority of these reports proved to be hoaxes, fraudulent or erroneous, three cases involving minuscule amounts of fissile material were confirmed in and , and two more alarming incidents occurred in In May, 5. The movements did not need to involve fissile materials, as non-fissile but radioactive materials, such as cesium, strontium and cobalt, might be desired by terrorist groups. Although the origins, evolution and outcome of the crisis have been extensively examined,58 some key points are relevant for this study, not least the slow evolution of the crisis.

By adhering to the NPT in , North Korea had substantially allayed fears about its nuclear ambitions, and placed its gas-cooled, graphite 5-megawatt Mw reactor and smaller research reactor at Yongbyon within the remit of the international inspection process. In alarms were raised when US satellite photography revealed that a plutonium-reprocessing plant was under construction at Yongbyon,59 and these were later compounded by confirmation that two new reactors — a 50 Mw and a Mw — were also being built.

However an aerial strike, as General Merrill McPeak, the US Air Force Chief of Staff, admitted, could not guarantee the destruction of all the hidden caches of plutonium and it risked provoking an invasion of the South.


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In a phased process, possibly after the year , as the first LWR approached completion, North Korea was supposed to allow the IAEA special inspections and then dismantle all its graphite reactors and the reprocessing facility prior to completion of the second LWR. Moreover, by seeking to freeze the future nuclear programme, the accord left North Korea with any bombs it had already made or could make before the special inspections occurred and set a bleak precedent for countering proliferation.

Critics promptly countered that the provision of vast amounts of oil could simply bolster the struggling economy of North Korea and prolong the longevity of its political regime. Ultimately the accord constituted a pragmatic response to this dilemma, effectively postponing a resolution of the crisis72 while not letting it deteriorate further, and avoiding the less palatable options of sanctions or war.

Nevertheless, a price was paid beyond the economic inducements paid to Pyongyang. If proliferants did not know about the photographic capacities of US LACROSSE satellites with their radarimaging sensors able to see through clouds, the precision of isotopic analysis in detecting levels of americium present in samples of plutonium, and the difficulty of concealing nuclear waste, they do now. It was accorded unprecedented rights of entry and exit, access to any site or facility, rights to request, receive, examine and copy any record, the right to designate any site for inspection, the 36 Weapons of Mass Destruction right to install monitoring equipment, take and analyse samples, and the right to destroy or render harmless any items specified under the terms of Resolution These items included all chemical and biological weapons, stocks of agents, related subsystems and components, research, development, support and manufacturing facilities; all ballistic missiles with a range in excess of kilometres; and nuclear weapon facilities.

To support its activities, UNSCOM drew initially upon frozen Iraqi assets under Resolution and enjoyed lavish aerial support two C Transall aircraft for purposes of transportation in and out of Iraq; three CH helicopters to facilitate rapid transportation of expert teams, vehicles and equipment within Iraq, and the lease of an American U-2 aircraft for aerial surveillance. On the basis of the evidence uncovered, estimates of how close Iraq was to producing a bomb vary considerably ranging from 12 to 18 months from the end of the Gulf War to five years , but the effort was more diverse than anticipated, involving five programmes to , with two main ones — a gas centrifuge enrichment process and a slower, less efficient Electro-Magnetic Isotopic Separation EMIS.

The CIA only knew of the former. Conspicuous containment WMD Crises and Revelations in the s 37 facilities, traditionally associated with offensive BW programmes, were missing, and much less attention was paid to the safety of workers in the production plants or to the local environment. Although Iraq claimed that the VX programme had failed, and that only 3.

In , too, there was evidence that Iraq may have loaded VX into some missile warheads at least from the samples analysed in a US laboratory. In uncovering this evidence, UNSCOM benefited from an unprecedented level of sharing of national intelligence information and techniques and particularly from Israel, by July , when the inspectors were seeking to penetrate the Iraqi concealment efforts.

UK action. Stronger UN. Better world.

From the first inspection, UNSCOM inspectors had data from national technical means, the support of data-collection techniques and analytical capabilities, and later clues about Iraqi arms programmes passed on from human intelligence sources. Under Resolution August , they gained evidence from aerial surveillance, notably from the leased U-2 aircraft, equipped with sensors, flying missions over Iraq. Eventually on 1 July Iraq conceded that it had an offensive BW programme, that large quantities of bulk agent had been produced, and that Al Hakam was intended as a BW production facility.

The whole exercise sought to sap the will of the inspectors, frustrate the monitoring process, split the wartime coalition, and secure the removal of sanctions. In rather different ways both the Bush and the Clinton administrations sought to provide this leadership. Other than in crises and sometimes even during crises both experienced difficulties, domestically and internationally, in focusing attention, mustering support, and securing common agreement upon the salience of the specific issues and the mode of response.

Although the United States retained an ability to project and use overwhelming conventional military power around the globe, proliferation persisted and posed difficulties for successive administrations. These difficulties derived partly from the political and economic circumstances of the United States after the Cold War, partly from the changing nature of inter-state relations, and partly from perceptions about the significance of proliferation and the possibilities of conflict in the post-Cold War era.

While these issues would be earnestly debated throughout the early years of the Clinton administration, the practical impact and political challenges of proliferation would be revealed all too clearly by the nuclear testing of India and Pakistan in May Under the Bush administration US foreign policy was based upon a prudent, pragmatic, and non-ideological approach, aimed at preserving the status quo where appropriate to do so, and responding to a series of crises in Europe, the Middle East and the former Soviet Union with skilled and careful management.

The goals were to increase democracy, prosperity and peace, and at the same time reduce arms, particularly chemical weapons.