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Reduction of armaments. Attempts have been made to reduce arms ever since the end of World War I. A disarmament conference was held in Geneva from 1932-34, but no agreement was reached. After World War II the United Nations established committees on disarmament and formed a Disarmament Commission in 1952. Talks were held from 1955 to 1957 on banning nuclear weapons. From the 1960s there was some limited success, including the nuclear Test-Ban Treaty (1963) and the nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (1968). In the 1970s, as a result of the policy of détente between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, more treaties were signed, limiting the increase of nuclear weapons (see arms control). Further treaties in 1987, 1991, and 1993, reduced the superpowers' stock of nuclear weapons. A new START (strategic arms reduction treaty) treaty was signed by the United States and Russia in April 2010, but as of the end of 2010 had not yet been ratified by the U.S. Senate. Disarmament treaties, however, have done little to alleviate the continuing danger of nuclear proliferation. And as far as conventional armaments are concerned, the idea of disarmament seems no more than a visionary dream. The arms trade remains one of the world's biggest industries. The biggest exporters of arms are the United States, Russia, Germany, France, and the United Kingdom; developing countries, led by India, Singapore, and Malaysia, were as of 2009 the world's leading importers of arms.

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