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CBRN Digest

Monthly newsletter on Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear Weapons, Materials, Proliferation, Environmental and Humanitarian issues.



    On April 29,1997, the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), the first ever multilateral disarmament agreement entered into force along with the birth of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), an international chemical weapons disarmament regime, after years of negotiations under the auspices of United Nation’s Conference on Disarmament. Today, April 29, 2017 is a special day which marks the 20th anniversary of the CWC and the founding of the OPCW with objectives to ‘to end the development, production, stockpiling, transfer and use of chemical weapons’. It also has to ensure the ‘elimination of existing stocks of such weapons’. This issue brief takes a broad overview of the journey of CWC and OPCW during the last two decades.

  • Namrata Goswami
    • While Chinese official statements classify the McMahon Line with India as an “Imperial Imposition’ and hence invalid, the same McMahon Line was utilized by China as the basis to delimit a section of the Sino-Burma border.
    • In India’s Northeast, China’s ‘traditional customary line’ is based on another British ‘product of imperialism’; the pre 1914 unilateral and random British outer line drawn to suit the imperial administrative purpose in Assam.
    • That China would derecognize the McMahon Line to consistently lay claim to territory in the Northeast fabricating another imperial British created line as the ‘traditional customary line’ speaks volumes of a larger game plan.
  • Sitakanta Mishra

    The UNSCR 1540 is a visionary approach to address the threat of WMD proliferation beyond the state-centric approach. It amalgamates the entire range of multilateral obligations and controls relating to WMD-related technology and material. However, it has to bridge a few missing links at the methodological and attitudinal levels to prove optimum and universal. India, a committed partner, maintains a credible safety-security architecture with appropriate legal, physical and collaborative measures, and expects that the regime must ensure “greater national responsibility…accompanied by responsible behaviour by states” to make it thriving.

  • Anshu Joshi

    The article discusses the devastating effect of Ebola outbreak and challenges in terms of combating this lethal disease. It describes Ebola in brief and explains how the outbreak poses challenges in terms of combating against this particular disease and offers few significant lessons that have been ignored in the past. The article emphasizes on prioritizing activities related to strengthening holistic defense mechanism to combat against natural, accidental or deliberate outbreaks.

  • Reshmi Kazi
    • Al Qaeda is attempting to expand into new territories in South Asia, “suitable” for safe housing themselves and their illicit activities.
    • Fragile political situation in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh provide conducive atmosphere to Al Qaeda to secure their bases in these regions.
    • The situation in South Asia raises further concerns over the fact that India and Pakistan are nuclear weapons nations.
    • Terror groups must be exterminated from the region to prevent them from unleashing catastrophe in the region.
  • Akanshya Shah

    Three factors are highlighted in particular: the Maoists’ defeat in second Constituent Assembly polls, the resistance of both the parties towards formation of Truth and Reconciliation Commission and holding of local body elections, the inter-party division, which is the most serious challenge faced by Prachanda at present. The paper attempts to explore the possibilities of such a reunification between the UCPN-M and CPN-M. It highlights the challenges faced by the top Maoist brass at present in order to forge a united front for the future. The paper also points out some possible scenarios that would be faced by the Maoists, who remain an important political player in Nepal’s polity.

  • Namrata Goswami

    The territorial claims on Arunachal Pradesh, termed as Monyul, Loyul and lower Tsayul by China based on Tibetan history is not backed by ground evidence. China’s intrusion at the Line of Actual Control is scaring off settled Indian populations at the border to relocate their villages. PLA military modernization in Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) is rapidly backed by advanced infrastructure.

  • Chaarvi Modi

    Sri Lanka, home to a plethora of ethnically diverse communities, saw horrific communal bloodshed in July 1983. Over three decades down the line, history seems to be repeating itself as hordes of Buddhists and Muslims ruffle feathers in the nest once again. The island's hard-line Buddhist Power Force is up against the Muslims- setting towns afire, mirroring incidents of the Burmese violence. This time however, the Sri Lankan government cannot escape the ire of the world media and the international community and must do its best to come down heavily on the communal violence and seek long standing solutions for peace among its population.

  • Namrata Goswami
    • Ensuring support from neighboring countries in dealing with the armed ethnic conflicts in Northeast region is vital.
    • Bilateral agreements with neighboring countries on areas of cooperation will prove useful in capacity building to deal with cross border armed conflicts.
    • India has to work with the Myanmar government directly to address the issues in Myanmar’s borderlands, which have direct impact on India’s own ability to deal with the multiple armed conflicts in the Northeast.
    • Ethnic conflicts in Assam, Manipur and Nagaland can escalate due to the presence of conflicting intra-ethnic violence, multiple armed groups, issues of land grab and illegal migration into ethnic homelands.
    • Successful resolution of conflicts will have positive effects on the Northeast boosting investment, tourism and international connectivity.
  • Riddhi Shah

    The United Nation’s Office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC) believes that organized crime groups roughly earn $250 billion per year. Moreover the annual turnover of transnational organized criminal activities such as drug trafficking, illegal arms trade and the smuggling of immigrants is estimated at $ 870 billion annually. Transnational crime, like several other security threats such as terrorism, maritime terrorism and piracy has no universally accepted definition.