Ethics Case Study – 48

Nuclear weapons are the most destructive weapons ever developed. The right to possess these weapons is an issue of serious contention in the international community.

Non-proliferation treaties exist within the United Nations, and between countries, such as between the United States and Russia.

The most comprehensive, the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), consists of a pledge by current nuclear weapon states to reduce their nuclear stockpiles and achieve nuclear disarmament in return for non-nuclear weapon states not developing such weapons.

While some countries and institutions are eager to see a reduction in nuclear weapon stockpiles, others are eagerly seeking to obtain them. North Korea recently developed their first functional nuclear weapon, and Iran is often accused of attempting to develop their own. Such countries have met with international condemnation.

So far, despite the NPT, those who were recognized as nuclear powers have not upheld their side of the bargain and disarmed.

This has led to the question of whether other countries should also have a right to nuclear armament. Those that are trying to prevent these regimes gaining nuclear weapons counter that despite slow progress the NPT still applies.

They are worried that weapons developed by less wealthy states are more likely to fall into the hands of terrorists, either through a lack of secure facilities or through being sold.

Bring out valid arguments in favour of nuclear disarmament in the light of

(a) humanitarian issues involved.

(a) security issues involved.

25 marks / 300 words.

Please write the answer in comments section

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