Arms Trade Treaty - 2013. After a seven year process at the United Nations, the Arms Trade Treaty was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 2 April 2013. It regulates the international trade in conventional weapons with a view to preventing and reducing human suffering. Please click here for more information.
Antarctic Treaty - 1959. The Antarctic Treaty prohibits nuclear explosions and the disposal of radioactive wastes on Antarctic, subject to future ageements, and states that the Antartic shall only be used for peaceful purposes. There are twelve original Signatories to the Treaty, but since 1959 thirty-eight other countries have acceded to the Treaty. Please click here for more information.
Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty - 1972-2002. The Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty was a bilateral agreement between the US and USSR under which each promise to establish no more than one ABM site on their national territory. It bans the testing, development and deployment of sea-, air-, space-, and mobile land-based systems. The plan for a defensive umbrella over the entire United States, first proposed under the Reagan administration, would have violated the treaty; the ballistic missile defense systems under development would still violate the treaty, since the plan involves more than one system, could involved sea-based missiles, and will be shared with other nations. The US withdrew from the ABM in 2002, despite enormous national and international objections. Please click here for more information.
Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) - 1975. The Biological Weapons Convention entered into force in 1975 and has over 125 signatories. It builds on the protocols of the Geneva conventions that banned the use of gas in war. The BTWC bans the development, production, stockpiling and transportation of biological and toxic weapons, as well as urging for a destruction of these weapons no later than nine month after entry into force of the Convention. It is the first treaty to ban an entire category of mass destruction weapons. However, the BTWC has no verification provisions. Please click here for more information.
Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) - 1993. The CWC opened for signature in 1993 and entered into force in April 1997. It has 190 Member States, including the US, Russia, and China. The Convention bans the development, production, stockpiling, acquisition, transfer and use of chemical weapons by States Parties (earlier agreements only banned the use). The treaty contains an extensive list of banned chemicals and precursors and provides for an elaborate and intrusive verification regime. Please click here for more information.
Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) - 1996. The CTBT bans all nuclear weapon test explosion or any other nuclear explosion, establishes an extensive International Monitoring System, and allows for short-notice on-site inspections. It was opened for signature in 1996, but has not yet entered into force. There are 183 member states, in where 163 have ratified, though, under the terms of the treaty, all forty-four countries with nuclear power plants must sign and ratify before it enters into force. Please click here for more information.
Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) - 1983. The Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May Be Deemed to Be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indescriminate Effects entered into force in 1983. The CCW and its five Protocols restrict or prohibit the use of conventional weapons whose effects are deemed to be excessively cruel or indiscriminate—weapons that do not discriminate between legitimate and illegitimate targets. The Convention itself, described as a chapeau agreement, contains only general provisions. The Protocols, a series of optional agreements annexed to the Convention, contain prohibitions or restrictions on the use of specific weapons or weapon systems. Protocol I prohibits the use of fragment weapons made of material that cannot be detected inside the body; Protocol II restricts the use of mines, booby-traps, and similar devices; Protocol III restricts the use of incendiary weapons; Protocol IV prohibits the use and transfer of blinding laser weapons; and Protocol V provides a framework for the use and clearance of explosive remnants of war (ERW). In order to become party to the CCW, states have to accept at least two of the Protocols. Please click here for more information.
Convention on Cluster Munitions - 2008. The Convention, which opened for signature in Oslo in December 2008, bans the use, production, stockpiling and transfer of cluster munitions and places obligations on countries to clear affected areas, assist victims and destroy stockpiles. It is the most significant treaty of its kind since the ban on anti-personnel landmines in 1997. Like the Mine Ban Treaty, this treaty is likely to have a powerful effect in stigmatising cluster bombs, so that even those countries that do not sign the treaty will not be able to use them without being subject to international condemnation. Please click here for more information.
Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material - 1980. The Convention, signed in Vienna and in New York on 3 March 1980, entered into force on February eight, 1987. Till date, there are 70 countries which are participating member States.The Convention provides a legal basis to physical protection measures for nuclear material that have been evolved over time by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). It provides a framework for international cooperation against theft or unauthorised diversion of nuclear materials and obliges States parties to ensure physical protection of nuclear material during international transport. Please click here for more information.
Environmental Modification Convention (ENMOD) - 1977. The Convention on the Prohibition of Military or Any Other Hostile Use of Environmental Modification Techniques attempts to prohibit military or any other hostile use of environmental modification techniques. The Convention defines environmental modification techniques as "changing -- through the deliberate manipulation of natural processes -- the dynamics, composition or structure of the earth, including its biota, lithosphere, hydro-sphere, and atmosphere, or of outer space." Changes in weather or climate patterns, in ocean currents, or in the state of the ozone layer or ionosphere, or an upset in the ecological balance of a region are some of the effects which might result from the use of environmental modification techniques. Please click here for more information.
Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) - 1992. The Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe limited conventional armaments in Europe to under 40,000 battle tanks, 60,000 armoured combat vehicles, 40,000 pieces of artillery, 13,600 combat aircraft and 4,000 helicopters. There are now 29 States Parties, after Russia suspended its observance of its CFE Treaty obligations in 2007. Please click here for more information.
Intermediate Nuclear Forces INF - 1987. The INF Treaty seeks to eliminate the US and Russia's land-based intermediate- and shorter-ranges missiles with ranges of 500 to 5,500 kilometers. By the treaty's deadline in 1991, the US and Russia had destroyed a total of 2,692 short-, medium-, and intermediate-range missiles. Please click here for more information.
New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) - 2010. A new START was signed by Russia and the United States in 2010 to further limit and reduce their strategic offensive arms in accordance with the provision of this Treaty.
Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) - 1968. The NPT contains the only binding commitment to nuclear disarmament in a multilateral treaty on the part of the nuclear weapon states, in Article VI. The NPT's "grand bargain" states that the nuclear weapon states pledge to disarm, whilt non-nuclear weapon states pledge never to acquire nuclear weapons. 190 governments have ratified the Treaty (though there are 189 States Parties, as North Korea withdrew from the Treaty after it ratified it). Please click here for more information.
Ottawa Convention (aka Mine Ban Treaty) - 1997. The Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction opened for signature in December 1997 and entered into force on March 1, 1999 - the most rapid ratification process of any major arms control treaty. The Treaty is notable on several counts: it is the first treaty to ban a class of weapon in wide use; it combines elements of humanitarian and arms control law (meaning, among other things, individuals rather than just states have rights and responsibilities under the treaty); and it came about as a result of a coalition of NGOs and mid-size governments without the participation of the major military powers. Major landmines producers including the US, Russia, China, and Pakistan have not signed the treaty. Please click here for more information.
Outer Space Treaty (OST) - 1967. The Outer Space Treaty has been signed and ratifed by the US, UK, USSR, France, India, and 58 others. It prohibits nuclear or other weapons of mass destruction from being placed in space (including Earth orbit). Please click here for more information.
Partial Test Ban Treaty (PTBT) - 1963. The Limited Test Ban Treaty banned all but underground nuclear explosions. The US, USSR, and UK are signatories (they wrote it and are the depositories). It was negotiated in 6 weeks. Please click here for more information.
Seabed Treaty - 1971. This treaty prohibits the placement of nuclear weapons or weapons of mass destruction on the seabed and ocean floor beyond a 12 mile coastal zone. It entered into force in 1972 and multiple review conferences have upheld the treaty. 66 states have ratified, including US, UK, USSR, China, but not France. Please click here for more information.
Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT I) - 1972. The United States and the Soviet Union engaged in talks from 1969 to 1972, during which they negotiated the first agreements to place limits and restraints on some of their central and most important armaments, such as the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, and the Interim Agreement on strategic offensive arms. Please click here for more information.
Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty II (SALT II) - 1979. The second Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty increased limits on intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs), and heavy bombers. Other limits were placed on multiple re-entry vehicles and bombers with intermediate-range missiles. SALT II was to remain in effect through 1985, but it was never ratified, and was then supplanted by the START negotiations. Please click here for more information.
Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty I (START I) 1991, 1992. The Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty between the US and the USSR limits the number of heavy bombers, ICBMs, and SLBMs, and also limits launchers and warheads. It prohibits both states from deploying more than 6000 nuclear warheads on a total of 1600 delivery systems, and the ballistic missile throw-weight (lifting power) is limited to 3600 metric tons. Please click here for more information.
Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty II (START II) - 1993. The second Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty between the US and Russia limits their strategic arsenals to 3000-3500 warheads on delivery systems (tactical weapons and spares are not included in the counts). It also prohibits multiple re-entry vehicles (MIRVs) on intercontinental ballistic missiles, and limits the number of warheads deployable on submarine-launched ballistic missiles to 1700-1750. START II has not entered into force: when the US withdrew from the ABM Treaty in 2002, Russia declared START null and void the following day. It was replaced by SORT in 2002. Please click here for more information.
Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty (SORT) - 2002. Also known as the Moscow Treaty, SORT limits the nuclear arsenal of both the US and Russia to 1700-2200 warheads each. It does not specify which warheads are to be reduced or how reductions should be made, nor does it include any verification provisions. It came into force on 1 June 2003, and is set to expire 31 December 2012. Please click here for more information.
Treaty of Bangkok - 1995. The Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapons Free Zone entered into force in 1997 and prohibits the development, testing, stationing, transport, manufacture, and possession of nuclear weapons, and prohibits the dumping of waste in the region. It allows nuclear energy. US, UK, Russia, France, and China do not support this treaty. Please click here for more information.
Treaty of Pelindaba - 1996. The African Nuclear Weapon Free Zone was finally ratified in 2009, thirteen years after its opening. Burundi was the last country to ratify it as the 28th and final instrument required for the Treaty to go into force. It prohibits all nuclear weapons in NWFZ and requires destruction of any nuclear devices. It calls on nuclear weapons states to provide assurances that they will not use nuclear weapons against the states party to the Treaty. Please click here for more information.
Treaty of Rarotonga - 1985. The South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone prohibits the manufacture, possesssion, or testing of nuclear devices, and prohibits dumping of nuclear waste. It entered into force in 1986. Please click here for more information.
Treaty of Tlatelolco - 1967. The Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America prohibits testing, production, possiession, or acquisition of nuclear weapons in the Latin American nuclear weapon free zone. In Protocol II, nuclear weapons states party to the treaty cannot use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against parties to the protocol. This was the first treaty to exclude nukes from an inhabited region of the globe. Please click here for more information.