The Vienna Hub Fights for a World Free of Nuclear Weapons

Although the Cold War and the nuclear arms race no longer dominate the headlines, nuclear arms and their possible deployment still pose a real and immediate threat to our existence. Due to their increasing proliferation they are indeed considered as representing an even more serious threat than 20 years ago. In striving to counteract the associated risks, Austria has for many years now played a highly active role at inter-national level.

 

Control of Nuclear Technologies

The Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), whose objectives include a ban on the spread of nuclear weapons, the commitment to nuclear disarmament and the right to the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, plays a pivotal role. Observance of the treaty is  checked and monitored based on an effective safeguards and verification system by the Inter-national Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Headquartered in Vienna since 1952, it also strives to ensure the peaceful use of nuclear technology and the observance of the highest standards in nuclear power plants. In 2005, the IAEA was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of its efforts towards reaching these goals.

 

Monitoring instead of testing

With its network of monitoring stations that have been set up in 90 states worldwide, the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO) makes sure that no illegal nuclear tests are conducted. As such tests are key to the development of nuclear arms, clan-destine development is severely restricted, if not rendered impossible, by the existence of these monitoring stations. A number of Vienna-based organisations, including the Wassenaar Arrangement (WA) or the Secretariat of The Hague Code of Conduct (HCoC), contribute towards enhancing transparency in international coope-ration on promoting disarmament.