Montana Model United Nations 2001
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General Assembly One

TOPIC II

Security and Disarmament

Nuclear Disarmament

With enough weapon power to destroy the earth three times over, nuclear power in the world conitues to be an issue. Multiple calls have been made for countries with nuclear power to disarm them. However, nations with weapons of mass destruction feel they have to maintain a strong armery to prevent attacks, while weaker nations struggle to keep relations with a nuclear power for their own protection. No nation is willing to begin disarmament without other nations also disarming, for fear it would leave them vulnerable to attacks.

Impact

Nuclear power has an extraordinary effect on world politics. Foreign policy of nations are determined by the strength of their allies. The most powerful and influential countries are the ones with a strong nuclear armory. Smaller, poorer nations strive hard to remain on good terms with larger nations because of the threat of nuclear war. One major problem is attempting to determine which nations actually have nuclear power. Known nuclear powers desire disarmament but fear the possible nuclear weapons in so-called "rogue nations". Iraq, Libya, North Korea and others all claim to have nuclear power, but this is undetermined. Nations like the United States, United Kingdom, Russia and other allied countires feel that not all nations can be trusted to participate in disarmament; so if the allied nations were to disarm, it would leave them open to attack. Some plans have involved taking nuclear weapons off "hair-trigger" alert, reducing weapons of mass destruction, and aiming missels into the ocean, rather than at other possible targets. However, these efforts have for the most part been unsuccessful. Disarmament remains the only option, but enforcement on all countries is a huge problem.

History Highlights

1940's
The United States' Manhattan Project builds and tests the first atomic bombs. The new weapons are used on Hiroshima, then Nagasaki leading to the end of World War II. The beginning of the Cold War follows with the USSR's detonation of a atomic bomb in 1949.

1950's
The Korean War opens this decade that sees the first space travel by human beings, the construction of bomb shelters and the deployment of the first Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles by the United States in 1958.

1960's
France and China join the "Nuclear Club". The Cuban Missile Crisis brings the world to the brink of a nuclear war and back. In 1968 an unpopular war in Vietnam and the rise of social demonstration across the world present the backdrop for the Non-Proliferation Treaty in which the nuclear powers promise to bring about complete nuclear disarmament.

1970's
The SALT I and Anti Ballistic Missile (ABM)Treaties opened this decade on a positve note. The end of the Vietnam War was followed by the SALT II agreement. The tragic accident at Three Mile Island nuclear energy plant occured at the end of the decade.

1980's
The Cold War was at its height with Ronald Reagan declaring the USSR "the Evil Empire." Reagan's Administration engineers a massive build-up of nuclear arms. In 1985 It's revealed that Israel may have up to 200 nuclear weapons stockpiled. By the end of the decade, the Cold War ended when Glasnost exploded into a mostly peaceful revolution across the former-Soviet block.

1990's
The promise of nuclear disarmament after the Cold War got a boost when Ukraine, Kazahkstan and Belarus chose to give up their nuclear arsenals inherited from the former Soviet Union. Other nuclear weapons states do not follow suit. By the end of the decade two other countried, India then Pakistan, tested nuclear weapons.

2000's
This decade began with threats by the US to proceed with a nationwide missile defense system, even if this means abrogating the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.

Links

http://www.nuclearfiles.org
http://www.un.org/partners/civil_society/m-disarm.htm
http://www.wf.org/nucleartimes.htm

 

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