In January 2022, the 5 most powerful nations of the world, viz China, France, Russia, the UK (United Kingdom) and the US (United States) have agreed and signed a pledge (a joint statement) to prevent atomic weapons from spreading and to ensure a nuclear war is never fought.
- The 5 nations were the nuclear weapons states recognised by the 1968 Treaty of the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and they were also the 5 permanent members of the United Nations Security Council. They are known as the P5 or the N5.
About the joint statement:
i.The joint statement represents a renewed commitment to prevent any confrontation from turning into a nuclear war.
ii.The statements include – ‘We believe strongly that the further spread of such weapons must be prevented’ and ‘A nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought’.
iii.They also affirmed that ‘nuclear weapons — for as long as they continue to exist — should serve defensive purposes, deter aggression, and prevent war.’
Note – The joint pledge was issued ahead of the 10th review of the NPT, which was postponed from its scheduled date of January 4, 2022, to later in 2022.
About Treaty of the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT):
i.It is an international treaty to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, to promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and to achieve complete nuclear disarmament.
ii.The treaty was opened for signature in 1968, and later entered into force in 1970. A total of 191 States have joined the Treaty, including the five nuclear-weapon States.
iii.4 UN member states that have never signed the treaty were India, Israel, Pakistan, and South Sudan.
iv.North Korea is the only country to withdraw from the treaty.
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In September 2021, India has launched its first satellite and nuclear-missile tracking ship INS (Indian Naval Ship) Dhruv. It is the first of its kind ocean surveillance ship (OSS) that is capable of tracking ballistic missiles at a long range.