Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT): State of play

In-Depth Analysis 11-04-2016

Despite hopes to the contrary, nuclear weapons are making a comeback in the strategic planning of nuclear-armed states. The decline in nuclear arsenals worldwide is accompanied by investment in more modern nuclear weapons and delivery systems, stepping further away from the disarmament pledges the nuclear weapon states assumed under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and challenging the foundations of the Treaty. Adding to the risk of undermining the NPT's relevance and credibility are the nuclear-armed states outside the NPT which are not bound by key international non-proliferation and disarmament obligations. The NPT Review Conference in 2015 addressed the states parties' effective implementation of their commitments under the NPT, as well as the enormous challenges ahead. Although the conference ended in failure to agree a consensus on an outcome document, the increased adherence to the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons initiative is believed to provide those states which are interested with a way forward towards pursuing the NPT goal of a nuclear-free world.