Vol. 1 No. 3 (2013): CISS Insight Bimonthly News & Views, June - July 2013

International Nuclear Order: New Framework for Cooperation

Ms. Farzana Siddique
Research Officer at the Center for International Strategic Studies (CISS)
Published August 12, 2013
How to Cite
Ms. Farzana Siddique. (2013). International Nuclear Order: New Framework for Cooperation . CISS Insight Journal, 1(3), P01-12. Retrieved from https://journal.ciss.org.pk/index.php/ciss-insight/article/view/107


Creation of various international nuclear management regimes, on which international order rests, is a laudable effort, but not a success story of the international community. The purpose of creating international nuclear order was to safeguard mankind from the disastrous effects of the nuclear weapons by restricting proliferation of these weapons and ensuring their non-use, but not deny use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. Existing nuclear order approaches are therefore, designed to serve two purposes, first allow global access to facilitate nuclear energy for peaceful uses, and second to limit the dual use of technology for making weapons and its up-gradation.

Formulation of international nuclear order was mainly determined by contemporary politics and the world global order prevalent at the time of its creation. During the Cold War rivalry between the Western and Soviet bloc led to what is commonly termed as the first nuclear order. It was fashioned by the experience of two superpowers during the Cuban missile crisis. US and Soviet Union for the first time realized the sensitivity of the weapon management issue when confronted with this crisis and came up with a number of bilateral agreements to minimize the possibility of mismanagement, and unintended damage of both sides. Possibilities of nuclear proliferation too, for the first time, were realized as a major threat to world peace then. In the aftermath of Cuban missile crisis John F. Kennedy, US President drew attention to the issue of nuclear proliferation in future. He said that, “I see the possibility in the 1970’s of the President of the United States having to face a world in which 15 or 20 or 25 nations may have these weapons.” Kennedy’s assessment of nuclear proliferation was true to some extent and was also an eye opener for the nuclear powers of that time. Subsequently, ground breaking agreements were initiated between US and USSR to deal with the emerging security situation. A hotline between Washington and Moscow was activated; a unilateral moratorium on nuclear testing and ban on nuclearization of outer space was also accepted by both sides in early nineties. Besides the two super powers the international community also came up with various proposals to restrict spread of nuclear weapons. These efforts resulted in the formulation of Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT).