Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Negotiations: A Case Study   [open pdf - 366KB]

"On July 16, 1945, the United States conducted the world's first nuclear explosive test in Alamagordo, New Mexico. […] Since the Alamogordo test, upwards of 2,000 nuclear tests have taken place globally. Of these, 528 were conducted in the atmosphere, with significant environmental consequences. […] In 1958 the United States, the Soviet Union, and the United Kingdom undertook negotiations over a cessation of nuclear testing, but a number of issues, mostly related to verifying compliance, proved intractable. Some success was attained after the Cuban Missile Crisis, as the three parties agreed in 1963 to the Limited Test Ban Treaty (LTBT), which banned all nuclear testing in the atmosphere, in space, or underwater. Nuclear tests would henceforth be permitted only underground. Subsequent efforts to negotiate a complete cessation proved unsuccessful until 1994, when negotiations on a multilateral comprehensive nuclear test ban began in earnest. These negotiations were completed in 1996. Shortly thereafter, a treaty text was overwhelmingly supported at the United Nations. However, over 20 years later, the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) has not yet entered into force. As such, this case study will consider the following: 1) the developments that led to the start of negotiations; 2) the perspectives of the key actors and their impacts upon the negotiations; 3) a summary of the negotiations, focusing on key issues and the efforts to reach resolution on them; 4) the endgame of the negotiations; and 5) a few key lessons learned, which may have utility for future multilateral negotiations, touching on issues associated with leadership, factors that impact decisionmaking, and how a negotiation must balance national interests and negotiating objectives."

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National Defense University, Center for the Study of Weapons of Mass Destruction: http://wmdcenter.ndu.edu/
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