As early as in 1954, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India called upon the nuclear powers to stop the tesljag.of nuclear weapons. U.S.A., U.S.S.R. and U.K., the three nuclear powers of that time a moratorium on nuclear testing during 1958-61. Meanwhile, France started conducting a series of nuclear tests and explosions. These tests prompted U.S.A. under the President ship of Kennedy to embark on a massive nuclear build up programme. U-S.S.R. also followed suit.
The Cubah missile nuclear war in order to reduce the chances of nuclear war, U.S.A, Soviet Union and U.K concluded the Moscow Test Ban Treaty in 1963. This Treaty was quite comprehensive. It disallowed nuclear explosions in the air. Despite this Treaty, the two Stepper MVers went turn conducting underground nuclear tests. The mad race for piling up of nuclear arms continued Unabated.
However, efforts at “detente” between the two Super Powers resulted in two important treaties on nuclear testing. The first was the Threshold Test Ban Treaty (TBT) in 1974, which restricted the yield of underground nuclear explosions to 150 kilotons and below. The second was the Peaceful Nuclear Explosion Treaty (PNET) in 1976 under which the 150 kilotons restriction in the 1974 Treaty was extended to peaceful nuclear explosions also.
Instead of reversing the arms race, U.S.A. went one step further by announcing its “Star Wars Programme” (Strategic Defence Initiative). This programme carries the arms race to the outer space. The star war missiles will be powered with nuclear energy charged laser beams. These missiles will be capable of destroying the enemy warheads and missiles at their bases or in their launching pads even before they are fired.
Notwithstanding the lukewarm attitude of U.S. A., Mr. Gorbachev of U.S.S.R. announced its unilateral decision to suspend all kinds of nuclear testing for a period of 5 months from July, 1985. Later, the period of this moratorium was extended from time to time. Not only that, U.S.S.R. announced that it was prepared for a substantial reduction of the Soviet nuclear warheads on the European mainland provided U.K., France and West Germany agreed not to allow the U.S.A. to station cruise missiles on their soil. Another goodwill gesture made by U.S.S.R. was its willingness to reduce the size of its conventional forces and withdraw them to the Soviet border from the Warsaw Pact countries.
In November 1985, a two-day Summit between U.S.A. and U.S.S.R. ended in Geneva. The joint statement said, though “serious differences remain on a number of critical issues” each side agreed that a nuclear war cannot be won and must not be fought. They again met in Washington in 1986 and in Mexico in 1987.
The Soviet President, Mr. Mikhail Gorbachev, and the U.S. President, Mr George Bush, signed the historic strategic arms reduction treaty in Moscow in July 1991 in order to reduce their nuclear arsenals by about 30 percent. The signing of the treaty has strengthened the world desire that the mad race for arms should be stopped as early as possible.
It is more disturbing that arms manufacture has become a major industry in the advanced countries like U.S.A., Russia, France and Britain. These countries deliberately disturb the conditions in Third World countries so that they are forced to buy arms and ammunition from them. It is estimated that while Asia, Africa and Latin America spend staggering sums on acquire arms 15 million people in these poverty stricken continents die of hunger and malnutrition every year, 600 million remain unemployed, 800 million are without education and 1500 million are deprived of medical assistance. The military expenditure of Third World countries has also gone up tremendously.
More than 40 million people joined the ranks of the chronically hungry in 2008 taking the world further away from its millennium goal of reducing hunger by 2015, according to preliminary data released by UN’s Food and Agricultures Organization in December. FAO’s latest report, according to a release accompanying the report, the number of the world’s chronically hungry currently stands at 963 million. There are now 963m hungry people, accounting for almost 15% of the world population.
The developing countries account for more than 93% (901 million out of963 million) of the world’s hungry, the report says. Out of these, 65% are from seven countries alone – India, China, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Congo, Indonesia and Ethiopia. The report says these countries are key to fighting poverty and malnutrition. India is home to the largest number of hungry people in the world, accounting for more than 20% of the total.
China and India together account for 40 per cent of Asia’s military spend, a peace institute said on 11-06-2007. India is the main military spender in South Asia, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute said. Global military spending rose to a high in 2006 as nations around the world spent $1,204 billion (at current rates) on military goods and services.
At a speech delivered at the White House in Washington on December 13,2001, the U.S. President, Mr. George W. Bush, served notice to Russia that the U.S.A. was withdrawing from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Defence (NMD) system. The U.S. President disclosed that both Mr. Putin and he had agreed that any U.S. decision to withdraw from the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty would not undermine theiriendly ties between the U.S.A. and Russja.
If the Super Powers take effective disarmament measures, the money thus saved can be utilised by them to aid developing countries. The Gross National Product (GNP) of Third World countries can go up. Disarmament can result in a several-fold increase in the industrial output of Third World countries. This will lead to a stabler world economic order. In reality, disarmament is the only hope for the survival of mankind. It alone can usher in an era of world peace and prosperity.