Multilateral and bilateral nuclear disarmament and arms regulation agreements
A chronology of important international nuclear disarmament and arms regulation measures concluded through negotiations in multilateral and regional forums includes:
- 1959 Antarctic Treaty: demilitarizes the continent and bans the testing of any kind of weapon on the continent.
- 1963 Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapon Tests in the Atmosphere, in Outer Space and under Water (Partial Test-Ban Treaty): restricts nuclear testing to underground sites only.
- 1967 Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (Treaty of Tlatelolco): prohibits testing, use, manufacture, storage, or acquisition of nuclear weapons by the countries of the region.
- 1967 Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies (Outer Space Treaty): mandates that outer space be used for peaceful purposes only and that nuclear weapons not be placed or tested in outer space.
- 1968 Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT): the non-nuclear-weapon states agree never to acquire nuclear weapons and, in exchange, are promised access to and assistance in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Nuclear-weapon states pledge to carry out negotiations relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race and to nuclear disarmament, and not to assist in any way in the transfer of nuclear weapons to non-nuclear-weapon states.
- 1971 Treaty on the Prohibition of the Emplacement of Nuclear Weapons on the Sea-bed and the Ocean Floor and in the Subsoil Thereof (Sea-bed Treaty): bans the emplacement of nuclear weapons, or any weapon of mass destruction, on the sea-bed or ocean floor.
- 1985 South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone Treaty (Treaty of Rarotonga): bans the stationing, acquisition or testing of nuclear explosive devices and the dumping of nuclear waste within the zone.
- 1995 Southeast Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty (Treaty of Bangkok): bans the development or stationing of nuclear weapons on the territories of the states party to the treaty.
- 1996 African Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty (Treaty of Pelindaba): bans the development or stationing of nuclear weapons on the African continent.
- 1996 Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT): places a worldwide ban on nuclear test explosions of any kind and in any environment.
- 2005 International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism (Nuclear Terrorism Convention): outlines specific acts of nuclear terrorism, aims to protect a broad range of possible targets, bring perpetrators to justice and promote cooperation among countries.
- 2006 Central Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty (Treaty of Semipalatinsk): comprising the five central Asian states — Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
- The 1972 Treaty on the Limitation of Anti-Ballistic Missile Systems (ABM Treaty) limited the number of anti-ballistic missile systems of the United States and the Soviet Union to one each. A 1997 “demarcation” agreement between the United States and the Russian Federation distinguished between “strategic”, or long-range ABMs, which were prohibited, and “non-strategic”, or shorter-range ABMs, which were not. The Treaty ceased to be in effect as of 13 June 2002, when the United States withdrew from it.
- The 1987 United States-Soviet Union Intermediate- and Shorter-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty) eliminated an entire class of nuclear weapons, which includes all land-based ballistic and cruise missiles with a range of 500 to 5,500 km. By the end of 1996, all the weapons slated for destruction under the provisions of the Treaty had been eliminated.
- The 1991 United States-Soviet Union Strategic Arms Limitation and Reduction Treaty (START I) placed a ceiling of 6,000 warheads on 1,600 deployed long-range nuclear missiles for each side by 2001, thereby reducing the 1991 stockpile levels by about 30 per cent. The 1992 Lisbon Protocol to START I committed the Russian Federation, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine, as successor states to the Soviet Union, to abide by the START I Treaty; Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine were to adhere to the NPT as non nuclear-weapon states. By 1996, these three states had removed all nuclear weapons from their territories.
- The 1993 Strategic Arms Limitation and Reduction Treaty II (START II) committed both parties to reduce the number of warheads on long-range nuclear missiles to 3,500 on each side by 2003, and eliminated ICBMs (intercontinental ballistic missiles) equipped with MIRVs (multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles). A 1997 agreement extended the deadline for destruction of the launching systems — missile silos, bombers and submarines — to the end of 2007.
- On 24 May 2002, the Presidents of the Russian Federation and the United States signed the Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty (SORT), also known as the Moscow Treaty, agreeing to limit the level of their deployed strategic nuclear warheads to between 1,700 and 2,200. The Treaty will remain in force until December 2012, and may be extended or superseded by agreement of the parties.