Page 1: 1993-95 Prelude and formal negotiations
Post Cold-War Progress toward International Agreements on Arms Control
In 1992, following the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the cessation of Cold War hostilities, the Conference on Disarmament successfully negotiated the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (CWC). This achievement helped foster a sense of optimism in the international community that real progress towards nuclear disarmament was possible.
With several testing moratoriums in place, there also appeared a genuine moment of opportunity with which test ban supporters could finally push for a Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), which was seen as necessary first step towards dismantling the strategic nuclear weapon defense machinery of the Cold War. With the non-aligned countries at the forefront, NNWS began to pressure NWS to take steps towards fulfilling their disarmament obligations outlined in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
There appeared a genuine moment of opportunity with which Non Nuclear Weapon States (NNWS) could finally push for a Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), which was a necessary first step towards dismantling the strategic nuclear weapon defense machinery of the Cold War.
The Group of Scientific Experts (GSE)
Throughout the Cold War, there had been many attempts at concluding a comprehensive test ban treaty. Nevertheless, during these years not only the hardened realities of realpolitik in geo-strategic policymaking, but also scientific and technical disagreements over verification methods, precluded the successful conclusion of a CTBT.
For this reason, the Swedish Defense Research Institute (SDRI) put forth the idea of creating a Group of Scientific Experts (GSE) to study the technical aspects of monitoring for nuclear explosions in the early 1970s. In an unprecedented move, the Conference on Disarmament made the decision to grant the GSE with a long-term mandate to study the issue.