Vol. 1 No. 1 (2013): CISS Insight Bimonthly News & Views, Feb - March 2013

FMCT Negotiations : The Impasse May Last

Ms. Huma Rehman
Senior Research Officer at the Center for International Strategic Studies (CISS)
Published April 10, 2013
How to Cite
Ms. Huma Rehman. (2013). FMCT Negotiations : The Impasse May Last . CISS Insight Journal, 1(1), P08-11. Retrieved from https://journal.ciss.org.pk/index.php/ciss-insight/article/view/93


A Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty (FMCT) is a proposed international agreement that would prohibit the production of the two main radioactive materials commonly used in nuclear weapons: Highly-Enriched Uranium (HEU), and Plutonium. Discussions on this subject are being held within the UN Conference on Disarmament (CD), a body of 65 member nations established as the sole multilateral negotiating forum on disarmament. The International Panel on Fissile Material (IPFM) conceptualized the debate/disagreements over the treaty provisions and the term FMT was preferred by same states. A number of treaty drafts have been proposed. These include 2003 proposal by the IAEA Safeguard Office, Green Peace International proposal 2004, the US proposal of 2006 and IPFM released a proposal in 2009. International community set certain bench marks for restraint and restriction to curb further development or deployment of nuclear capable missiles and aircrafts. It specifically lays stress on accession to the negotiations on FMCT was endorsed without a dissenting vote in 1993 by the United Nations General Assembly. States’ divergent interests have however impeded progress in FM(C) T negotiations. Formal negotiations on FMCT have not yet taken place, though preliminary discussions are ongoing.

The sixth annual Global Fissile Material Report (2011) the International Panel on Fissile Materials (IPFM) provides updated estimates for global and national stockpiles of Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU) and Plutonium. Hence, developments in military and civilian fissile material production capabilities in nuclear weapon states and in the non-weapon states are grave concern for global security. Global stockpile of HEU in 2011 consisted of roughly 1,440 ± 125 tons, which would be enough material to create 60,000 first generation nuclear weapons. Approximately 98% of the HEU stock is owned by nuclear weapon states, Russia and the United States among them have the largest stocks.