The Weapons of Mass Destruction and Their Delivery Systems (Prohibition of Unlawful Activities) Amendment Bill, 2022

The Weapons of Mass Destruction and Their Delivery Systems (Prohibition of Unlawful Activities) Amendment Bill, 2022

News: The Lok Sabha on Wednesday passed the Bill that sought to prohibit funding of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) with EAM Dr. S. Jaishankar stating that the passage of the legislation will strengthen national security and enhance India’s reputation globally.

Purpose of the Bill:
• It bars person from financing any prohibited activity related to weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems.
• It empowers the Centre to freeze, seize or attach funds, financial assets or economic resources for preventing such financing.
• It may also prohibit persons from making finances or related services available for the benefit of other person in relation to any activity which is prohibited.

Need for the Bill:
• The existing act does not cover the financial aspect of such delivery systems and the new provisions were essential to meet international obligations.
• The UNSC’s targeted financial sanctions and recommendation of FATF have mandated against financing of proliferation of WMD’s and their delivery systems.

What are WMDs?
• Weapons that have the capacity to inflict death and destruction on such a massive scale and so indiscriminately that its very presence in the hands of hostile power can be considered a serious threat.
• They are either nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons.

Global efforts made to control the spread of WMD:
• Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty of 1968
• Biological weapons convention of 1972
• Chemicals weapons convention of 1993

India has not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, but is signatory to both Biological and Chemicals weapons convention.  

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