CYIL vol. 12 (2021)
maria manuel meruje CYIL 12 (2021) implementation of Article VI is a legal, humanitarian and moral imperative. 63 Even the 10 th Review Conference turns out to be a challenge, the possibility of the “erosion” of the NPT 64 will surely affect global security as well as international relations and would represent a step backward in all the progress made. 6. Conclusions On 5 March, 2020, the NPT turned 50 years old since it was entered into force in the international legal order. It is true that the implementation of the NPT has prevented the increase in the number of countries with nuclear weapons, as predicted in the 1960s, but during all this time it has not achieved the goal of total disarmament of nuclear states and proliferation remains, yielding to the interest of security. The major problem still lies with those states that are not bound by the international non-proliferation regime. The fact that nuclear weapons exist means that nuclear risk remains as well. In the military field, Thomas C. Schelling introduced the concept of deterrence as a military strategy. This concept has evolved, but it continues to be the main theory to avoid a conflict using nuclear weapons. The various Anti-Ballistic Agreements that have been concluded over the past decades between the US and Russia have proven to be a complementary regime to the NPT with success in reducing the number of nuclear weapons. The progress that has been gradually achieved by the NPT should be applauded, however the new challenges deserve new responses from the international community, which for this, in our opinion, should be pursued through the political efforts of the “nuclear states”, as well as in strengthening the capacities of international organizations in verifying nuclear material inventories and supporting states. The 10 th Review Conference of the NPT will be a forum for the discussion and approval of effective initiatives and measures that respond to the issues of non-proliferation and disarmament and that guarantee respect for legal, humanitarian, and moral imperatives. The postponement of the NPT Review Conference could have a positive aspect upon the difficulties that we have witnessed in the last five years and the new US administration could be one of the positive aspects. Every cloud has a silver lining!
63 In 1996, the Canberra Commission on the elimination of nuclear weapons, initiated by the Australian Government concluded that nuclear weapons pose an intolerable threat to humanity. In the same year the International Court of Justice examined the question posed by the UN General Assembly on the “legality of the threat or use of nuclear weapons” and concluded similarly – the use of nuclear weapons will never be compatible with the principles and rules of humanitarian law and are prohibited. See: https://www.icj-cij.org/public/files/ case-related/95/095-19960708-ADV-01-00-EN.pdf. 64 Pilat (fn 15) 10–15.
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