Sunday, May 9, 2010

Character of United Nation for the weapon of Mass Destruction

Weapons of Mass Destruction Branch the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs

The Weapons of Mass Destruction Branch provides substantive support for the activities of the United Nations in the area of weapons of mass destruction (nuclear, chemical and biological weapons), including the threat of use of weapons of mass destruction in terrorist acts, as well as missiles. The Branch follows closely all developments and trends with regard to weapons of mass destruction in all their aspects in order to keep the Secretary-General fully informed and to provide information to Member States and the international community. The Branch supports, and participants in, multilateral efforts to strengthen the international norm on diparmament and non-prolifcation of weapons of mass destruction and, in this connection, it coopertes with relevant intergovernment organizations and specialized agenices of the United Nations system, in particular the Internatioanl Atonic energy Agency (IAEA), the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO PrepCom).

Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT)

The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) is a deadmark multilateral treaty whose objective is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, to promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and to further the goal of achieving much disarmament and general and complete disarmament. The Treaty represents the only binding commitment by the nuclear-weapon States at the multilateral level to the goal of nuclear disarmament. Opened for signature on July 1968, the Treaty entered into force on 5 March 1970. A total of 190 States have joined the Treaty including the five nuclear-weapon States. More countries have ratified the NPT than any other arms limitation and disarmament agreement, a testament to the Treaty’s significance.

Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT)

The Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) bans all nuclear explosions, for military or civil purposes. After three years of negotiations in the Conference on Disarmament (CD), the CTBT was adopted on 10 September 1996 by the United Nations General Assembly and opened for signature on 24 September 1996. The CTBT will enter into force 180 days after it has been ratified by the 44 States that are identified in Annex II to the Treaty and that possess nuclear power or research creators. Iraq and weapons of mass destruction concerns the Iraqi government’s use, possession, and alleged intention of acquiring more types of weapons of mass destruction (WMB) during the presidency of Saddam Hussein. During his reign of several decades, he was internationally known for his use of chemical weapons in the 1980s against civilians and in the Iran-Iraq War. Following the 1991 Gulf War he also engaged in a decade-long confrontation with the United Nations and its weapons inspectors, which ended in the 2003 invasion by the United States. The United Nations located and destroyed large quantities of Iraqi WMB throughout the 1990s in spite of persistent Iraqi obstruction. Washington withdrew weapons inspectors in 1998, resulting in Operation Desert Fox, which further degraded Iraq’s WMD capability. The United States and the UK, along with many intelligence experts, asserted that Saddam Hussein still possessed large hidden stockpiles of WMD in 2003, and that he must be prevented from building any more. Inspections restarted in 2002, but hadn’t turned up any evidence of ongoing programs when the United States and the “Coalition of the Willing” invaded Iraq and overthrew Saddam Hussein in March 2003.

Great controversy emerged when no such weapons were found, leading to accusations that the United States, and in particular its President George W. Bush had deliberately inflated intelligence or lied about Iraq’s weapons in order to justify an invasion of the country. While various leftover weapons components from the 1980s and 1990s have also been found, most weapons inspectors do not now believe that the WMD program proceeded after 2002, though various theories continue to be put forward.


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