Global Security News-wire, Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Group Foresees No "Real" Nuke Curbs in Short Term
The world's total quantity of nuclear warheads has fallen by more than
2,000 since 2009, but the reduction's relevance is undercut by updates
that governments are pursuing to their atomic arsenals, the
International Peace Research Institute said in an annual report
published on Tuesday.
"More than 5,000 nuclear weapons are deployed and ready for use,
including nearly 2,000 that are kept in a high state of alert," Agence
France-Presse quoted the group as saying in the assessment, SIPRI
The organization said in excess of 20,500 nuclear warheads are
presently held by the eight nuclear-armed countries
"The nuclear weapons states are modernizing and are investing in their
nuclear weapon establishments, so it seems unlikely that there will be
any real nuclear weapon disarmament within the foreseeable future,"
SIPRI Deputy Director Daniel Nord said in an interview. The five
nations deemed legitimate nuclear powers under the Nuclear
Nonproliferation Treaty --
and the United States -- have all either begun to field updated
nuclear-weapon technologies or signaled they intend to modernize their
systems, Nord noted.
The analysis says the
warheads and 6,350 in reserve as of January, while
launch-ready warheads and 8,573 in reserve at that time. A bilateral
strategic arms control treaty that entered into force in February
would require each nation to deploy no more than 1,550 strategic
nuclear warheads by 2018.
Nord said the rivalry between nuclear powers
comprises the greatest atomic danger. The
only place in the world where you have a nuclear weapons arms race," he said.
North Korea, the report states, "is believed to have produced enough
plutonium to build a small number of nuclear warheads".
Iranian atomic activities do not yet constitute a major danger, said
Nord, who expressed greater concern about "the consequences when the
concerned states like
will have to intervene and do something about the program in
The SIPRI report also warns of the threat posed to the Biological
Weapons Convention by "the increasing overlap between the chemical and
Separately, Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
Director General Ahmet Üzümcü has "established an advisory panel to
review the implementation of the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention,
with a focus on how the convention's activities should be structured
after the destruction of chemical weapon stockpiles ends, sometime
after 2012," a summary of the report says.
States had fully complied with CWC provisions for the declaration and
OPCW-verified destruction of chemical munitions recovered in
"The parties to the CWC must achieve a clearer understanding of the
role of the convention in support of international peace and security
once chemical weapon stockpiles are essentially destroyed," the
document says. "Failure to do so risks undermining the perceived daily
operational-level value of the regime. Determining what constitutes
noncompliance with a convention obligation is a recurring theme that
states must continue to actively and constructively address"
(Stockholm International Peace Research Institute report, June 7).
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