The limited nuclear test ban treaty was signed by the United Nations in 1963, following a fear of a nuclear war after the Cuban missile crisis. This was still permissive of underground nuclear tests, therefore paving the way to negotiations for the comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty, which outlaws the underground testing. Currently the treaty is still awaiting ratification from India, Pakistan, Iran, the US and Israel (Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) – UNODA, n.d.), even though negotiations began in 1994. The United Kingdom have already ratified said treaty and believe it is an imperative implementation to global agreements to ensure the safety of all citizens. Throughout the 20th century, before the first nuclear test ban treaty, “radioactive deposits were found in wheat and milk in the northern United States” (Nuclear Test Ban Treaty | JFK Library, n.d) and the consequences of nuclear fallout are significant on a global level if precautions are not made in order to prevent widespread radioactive poisoning.
Aside from this, the agreement nullifies the probability of a nuclear war, a threat which many nations have used to coerce others, leaving many in a state of fear and anxiety. If all states agree to end nuclear testing, other negotiations and conflicts may be relatively more peaceful. Historically tension between countries possessing nuclear weapons has been all but rewarding. The cold war is the biggest exemplification of a failure to ease tensions and de-escalate a threat of nuclear war between global powers. JFK himself stated "It is insane that two men, sitting on opposite sides of the world, should be able to decide to bring an end to civilization." and even nations already in possession of nuclear arms have ratified the treaty – including the United Kingdom, highlighting its importance to world peace.
The Treaty establishes a CTBT Organization (CTBTO), located in Vienna, to ensure the implementation of its provisions, including monitoring; consultation and clarification; on-site inspections; and confidence-building measures. (Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) - The Nuclear Threat Initiative, n.d.) furthering the idea that a confidence building agreement will help ease conflict between nations without the threat of a nuclear disaster. Hence, negotiations should continue until the necessary states have ratified said agreement, since there are little to no downsides of ending nuclear tests and disarming nuclear weapons.
- Haizea, H