Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons

The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) limits the spread of nuclear weapons via non-proliferation, disarmament, and peaceful uses of nuclear energy.  

About

Depository: United States, United Kingdom, Russian Federation 

Opened for signature: 1 July 1968

Entry into force: 5 March 1970

Background

The NPT is a landmark international agreement that has been in force since 1970. The NPT seeks to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology while promoting cooperation over the peaceful use of nuclear technology. With its central goal being to further nuclear disarmament, 191 parties, including the five nuclear-weapon States (as recognized by the NPT), have joined the treaty. The international community adopted this treaty as the first great effort to recognize and reduce the threat that nuclear weapons pose to the world’s security. NAPF remains committed to the goals of the NPT and works with an array of partners to further nuclear disarmament.

Treaty Information

The NPT contains provisions that enforce nuclear non-proliferation. Articles I, II, and III prevent nuclear weapons states from transferring to a recipient any nuclear weapons or assisting a non-nuclear weapons state in acquiring such weapons. The treaty requires non-nuclear weapons states to accept International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards on nuclear materials they may possess.

Furthermore, Article VI requires all Parties to the treaty to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures in relation to nuclear disarmament. The treaty legally obligates States to comply with Article VI and pursue effective non-proliferation measures. As such, the NPT has strict compliance and verification measures;  any instance of noncompliance are reported directly to the United Nations Security Council.

Article VIII requires all states to convene every five years for a review conference of the NPT. In the three years leading up to a review conference, States convene annually for 10 days at Preparatory Committee sessions. Review conferences and their associated PrepComs ensure that the NPT remains viable and active amongst the Parties to the treaty.

Our Work

In close cooperation with a wide range of states and NGOs, our organization has extensively advocated for the NPT. NAPF consistently attends NPT Review Conferences and their associated Preparatory Committees. Most recently, our interns, under the guidance of NAPF’s Policy and Advocacy Coordinator Christian N. Ciobanu, attended the 2023 NPT PrepCom in Vienna. NAPF interns engaged with states in bilateral meetings, covered plenary sessions and side events, and spoke before the Committee on numerous occasions. Civil society organizations selected two NAPF interns to present the youth statement to the committee.

Dr. Ivana Nikolić Hughes delivering the NAPF Statement at the NGO session of the 2023 NPT Prepcom.

Ryan Rowe (left) and Harris Agha (right) delivering the Youth Statement at the NGO session.

Panelists at the NAPF side event on the Humanitarian Consequences of Nuclear Weapons.

Panelists at the SGI side event at the 2023 NPT PrepCom.