We live in a world where the human race is progressing constantly. However, there are certain notions and moments like that of the mindset of the people (who run a country at the government level), lust for power and establishment of a world supremacy at the gun-point, constantly challenges the notion of development and presents a medieval mindset. One such activity is the rise of the nuclear weapons in the world by various nations, who in turn advocate for international peace and security.
Recently, a news had surfaced, which highlighted the use of nuclear weapons at the global level by the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Association) chief, Mr. Rafael Grossi. While addressing the annual meeting of IAEA member states he specifically pointed out towards the ever expanding of the nuclear programming by the North Korean government. He said:
“In the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, nuclear programme goes full steam ahead with work on plutonium separation, uranium enrichment and other activities.”
Now it is essential for us to understand that it is the same IAEA which serves as the watchdog of the United Nations with respect to the ongoing atomic activities going on across the world. Looking at the constant growth of the nuclear weapons, it looks like either the world has forgot the devastating effects of the two World Wars, Cold War and other proxy wars fought in different parts of the world or the nations (at least the developed ones) have taken the English saying “ignorance is a bliss” pretty seriously. There are certain problems with the use of nuclear weaponry at the international level. Some of them, according to me includes:
- Non-participation of the developed countries: When we look at it, we see an array of treaties and conventions for disarmament, ban on testing, procurement, production and test of nuclear weaponry. However, what we witness is the absence of the parties which possess both hordes of nuclear weaponry and potential to engage in the above mentioned activities. The best example of the same could be The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), which came into force on 22nd January, 2021. This vote did not witness the active participation of the P5 and nations like India as they vehemently opposed this treaty on the grounds which was suitable for them, regardless of the fact that it constitutes a part of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
- Nature of international law: When we look at the nature of the International law, we find the biggest loophole within its fundamental nature of the sense of non-binding or non-obligation towards a resolution/treaty/convention. Now, I’m not saying that there is a problem with the international law. Because if a country becomes the signatory to a resolution/treaty/convention, it is duty bound to follow it, failure of which might lead to repercussions and sanctions. But at the very same time, there is no law or treaty which would actually force a nation(s) to stop engaging into nuclear activities. It is this loophole, where the major players take advantage of it and refuse to become a party to such resolutions/convention/treaty.
- Layer of excuses to use nuclear energy: It is evident that various nations across the world under the garb of peaceful usage of nuclear weaponry mechanism engage into activities which lead to stockpiling of the nuclear weapons. The major excuse utilized by the nations include that of defence and national security. Further, the most common used excuse is the notion of “self-defence against the other parties.”
- Hegemony of nuclear power: Nuclear power or nuclear weapons are something which is not accessible to all the nations across the world (neither should it be) either due to the lack of affordability or due to the sanctions imposed. Hence, the nuclear power is concentrated in the hands of few, which results in the hegemony at the international chessboard. This enables the ones enjoying the hegemony exploit the nations which do not possess nuclear power by a very common method of muscle flexing.
So these were certain major pointers towards the justification of title on how the nuclear power is on the rise in reality with the treaties, sanctions and clauses remaining limited just at the piece of paper. Now, people often seek solution to the above mentioned issue by means of diplomacy, sanctions, resolutions etc. However, in practicality there doesn’t exist a concrete solution which would stop or prevent the countries’ engagement in the nuclear-related activities because at the end we must understand that nuclear weapons and other such weaponry system are like knife, either you can chop vegetables from it or can kill a person with it.