Global Implications of Nuclear Weapons and Treaties.
There are two major treaties in the world today involving nuclear testing. One treaty is the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and the other is the United Nations Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. These treaties were produced to eliminate testing of weapons of mass destruction as a primary source of global instability and danger.
In 1954, Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, called for a worldwide comprehensive test ban treaty. His intentions on this treaty were to end the nuclear arms race between the United States, Russia, and Britain. The leaders of the three countries came together and settled on the Partial Test Ban Treaty (PTBT). This banned only explosions in the atmosphere, outer space and under water. They were able to continue the nuclear arms race by intensifying their underground nuclear testing programs. France and China, which did not sign the PTBT, did conduct tests in the atmosphere until 1974 and 1980. From the 1950's on, a CTBT was sought after for three main reasons: to curb proliferation, to end the contamination and destruction of the environment from nuclear explosions and to end the arms race by preventing new and modernized weapons from being added to countries" nuclear arsenals. .
Negotiations for a CTBT opened at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, Switzerland in January 1994. The CTBT was made final in the Conference on Disarmament in August 1996 and adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on September 10, 1996 by 158 votes to 3, with 5 abstentions. To this date 142 countries have signed the treaty but only two have ratified it.
The CTBT has two main points to it-1) Each State Party undertakes not to carry out any nuclear test explosion, and to prohibit and prevent any such nuclear explosion at any place under its jurisdiction or control and 2) Each State Party undertakes, furthermore, to refrain from causing, encouraging, or in any way participating in the carrying out of any nuclear weapon test explosion or any other nuclear explosion.