Nuclear Five Pressed for a Complete Ban

By Michael Sheridan Diplomatic Editor | The Independent (London, England), January 23, 1996 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Nuclear Five Pressed for a Complete Ban

Michael Sheridan Diplomatic Editor, The Independent (London, England)


Diplomatic Editor

The world's nuclear powers, including Britain, will come under fresh pressure to move towards complete nuclear disarmament at talks to achieve a comprehensive treaty to ban nuclear tests opening at the United Nations in Geneva today.

The five declared nuclear states - Britain, France, US, Russia and China - face calls by countries as diverse as India and Australia to work for the elimination of nuclear weapons. They all say they believe in a test ban treaty, but do not want to broaden the agenda any further.

The five nations are seeking to blunt the campaign by arguing that priority should be given to achieving a test ban treaty by the agreed target date next September, when it should be placed before the UN General Assembly.

"We shall resist any effort to link this treaty to other aspects of nuclear disarmament," a Western diplomat said yesterday. The UN regards a test ban treaty as "one of the most prominent issues on the international disarmament agenda since 1954" and its conclusion would be a great prize, as would an accompanying agreement to ban the production of fissile material for weapons.

But the controversy over French nuclear tests in the Pacific has given new vigour to efforts to compel the five to live up to their existing treaty commitments. The nuclear states formally pledged to work for the removal of all nuclear weapons when they renewed indefinitely the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) last year.

The NPT confirms the five as the only recognised possessors of nuclear weapons, and provides the main instrument to curb the nuclear aspirations of countries such as Iran and North Korea. It was extended only after a taut round of negotiations which left many Third World countries feeling they had been strong-armed into acceptance.

British ministers are on the record as saying that "nuclear weapons cannot be disinvented" and the Foreign Secretary, Malcolm Rifkind, said when he was Secretary of State for Defence that the British Trident nuclear deterrent was the "minimum credible" force - a formula that self-evidently allows no negotiated reduction without loss of credibility.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Nuclear Five Pressed for a Complete Ban


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?