Five Nuclear Powers signed a Central Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free-Zone Treaty

May 9, 2014 10:08 IST

The United States, Russia, China, Britain and France signed a protocol to the Central Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free-Zone (CANWFZ) Treaty on 6 May 2014. The CANWFZ Treaty was signed during Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) Preparatory Committee Meeting in New York.

The Protocol provides legally-binding assurances not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against CANWFZ Treaty parties. CANWFZ treaty parties are Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

Under the Treaty, the five Central Asian zone states will not allow the stationing of nuclear weapons within their territories. These states are also required to adopt the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Additional Protocol. This protocol provides the IAEA with expanded access and authorities to ensure that all nuclear activities are used only for peaceful purposes.

The CANWFZ treaty has established the nuclear- weapons-free-zone which came into force in 2009. The Treaty and its Protocol will promote regional cooperation, security, stability and peace in the region with a view to create the necessary conditions for the development and prosperity of their peoples.

The five central Asian countries are expecting that the protocol will be fully ratified by the five nuclear-weapon states and is expecting that it will come into effect before 2015.

The United States is not eligible to be a party to the CANWFZ Treaty, but as an NPT nuclear weapons state is eligible to join the Treaty’s Protocol.

There are four other treaties on nuclear-weapons-free zones in
• Latin America and the Caribbean
• The South Pacific
• Southeast Asia
• Africa

Mongolia's self-declared nuclear-free status has also been recognised through a United Nations General Assembly resolution.

About Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT)
The Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons also referred to as the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) was opened for signature on 1 July 1968. The United States, the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, and 59 other countries signed the treaty in 1968.

The NPT is the most widely accepted arms control agreement. Israel, India, and Pakistan have never been signatories of the NPT and North Korea withdrew from the Treaty in 2003.

The treaty obligates the five acknowledged nuclear-weapon states (the United States, Russian Federation, United Kingdom, France, and China)
• Not to transfer nuclear weapons
• Other nuclear explosive devices
• Their technology to any non-nuclear-weapon state

Under the treaty, Non-nuclear-weapon States Parties undertake not to acquire or produce nuclear weapons or nuclear explosive devices.  The review of nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty aimed at stopping the spread of nuclear arms.

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