Nuclear weapons are the most destructive technology ever developed. From the day fission was discovered in 1938, the problem of controlling this technology has been of central importance to the human race. The world, in which this discovery was made, confused by war and paranoia made the transition from theoretical possibility into actuality inevitable. We are very fortunate that these weapons have not been used, although in some cases we have come very close. We are also fortunate that the powers involved see that we need control practices and have had conferences on disarmament for some time.
The question of disarmament has been discussed at the international level ever since the end of the First World War. Between 1918 and the outbreak of the Second World War two attempts towards disarmament were the Geneva protocol of 1925, prohibiting the use in war of gases and of bacteriological methods of warfare and the Briand - Kellog Pact of 1928 which outlawed war (Keesing 1972).
With the coming of nuclear weapons and the terrible destruction which they could bring about, the whole issue of disarmament became considerably more important. The United Nations from its inception in 1946 acknowledged this in its Charter by laying responsibility for the establishment of a system for the regulation of armaments on the Security Counsel (Pauling 1958).
Despite the numerous committees that met between 1946 and 1960 no agreement was reached either on general disarmament or on a nuclear test ban treaty. The main reason for the deadlock was the question of international inspection and control, which .
the Western Powers considered very fundamental. Basically there was little trust, for example, the Soviet Union considered that international inspection would merely be a cover espionage activities (Keesing 1972). .