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I salute the Arms Control Association … for its keen vision of the goals ahead and for its many efforts to identify and to promote practical measures that are so vitally needed to achieve them. -

– Amb. Nobuyasu Abe
Former UN Undersecretary General for Disarmament Affairs
January 28, 2004
Seabed Arms Control Treaty
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The Seabed Arms Control Treaty prevents nuclear weapons and international conflict from spreading to the seabed. Any exploration of the seabed would be for peaceful purposes. The Soviet Union presented a draft that called for complete demilitarization of the seabed beyond 12 miles. The United States drafted a treaty prohibiting the placement of nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction on the seabed beyond three miles. The United States said complete demilitarization would not be possible as submarine systems and other technologies were vital to U.S. defense interests. In terms of verification, the United States and Soviet Union again disagreed, but decided on individual states undertaking verification using their own means.

Opened for Signature: 11 February 1971

Entry into force: 18 May 1972

Official Text: http://disarmament.un.org/treaties/t/sea_bed/text

Status and Signatories: http://disarmament.un.org/treaties/t/sea_bed