Disarmament and arms control are overlapping areas. The first is concerned with the substantial reduction or complete elimination of those weapons with which nations can commit aggression and wage war, given that the continued existence of nuclear weapons must sooner or later lead to war escalating to an unimaginable level of destructiveness. Arms control implies some form of collaboration between adversary states, involving either formal or tacit agreement, aimed at limited control in well-defined areas. The latter is considered more realistic, but it does not lead to the former.
Some 19 protocols, treaties, agreements and other international instruments of accord have been generated in the interests of arms control since 1948. Negotiating sessions, productive and non-productive, between the super-powers alone are counted in the thousands. By 1993 impressive cuts had been made in strategic and nuclear arsenals. The Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) in Force since 5 March, 1970, safeguards inspections as required in Article III, and are carried out under a safeguards agreement of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). In 1995, the NPT will be reviewed. The Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) is another treaty. With the signing of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START-1 and 2 covering the USA and former USSR; START 3 involving the UK, China, France and others), the next decade promises to see a 70% reduction in the number of nuclear warheads in the world.
An approach suggested to improve and strengthen regulation of the arms trade is to study the channels through which terrorists acquire weapons so that action can be taken to close off such channels.
Regions in need of economic aid should receive generous aid from the UN on the condition that they disarm. A "Code of Agreement" on cooperation and disarmament could provide matching aid equivalent to a substantial amount of the money saved by disarmament or at least sufficient to provide the incentive to cooperate.
1. A very considerable range of disarmament proposals have been considered or negotiated with almost no tangible results, excepting a number of arms control agreements in areas of no military interest, or treaties of no significance, or having little probability of entering into force or being realistically implemented.