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Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT)

United Nations Headquarters United Nations Headquarters
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Opened for signature: 1 July 1968.

Entered into force: 5 March 1970.

Duration: Indefinite. Twenty five years after the entry into force of the NPT, at the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference held in New York at the United Nations from 17 April to 12 May 1995, States Parties agreed without a vote "that the Treaty shall continue in force indefinitely."

Parties

Depositories: Russia, United Kingdom, and United States.

Treaty Text

Obligations:

  • Nuclear weapon states (NWS) are not to transfer to any recipient whatsoever nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices and not to assist, encourage, or induce any non-nuclear weapon states (NNWS) to manufacture or otherwise acquire them.
  • NNWS are not to receive nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices from any transferor, and not to manufacture or acquire them.
  • NNWS must place all nuclear materials in all peaceful nuclear activities under IAEA safeguards.
  • All Parties are obligated to facilitate and participate in the exchange of equipment, materials, and scientific and technological information for the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
  • All Parties must pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to the cessation of the nuclear arms race and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.

Verification and Compliance: NNWS are to conclude agreements with the IAEA for safeguards to be applied on all source or special fissionable materials in all peaceful nuclear activities within the territory of such States. Such agreements are to be concluded with the IAEA, individually or together with other States, and enter into force within 18 months after their accession to the Treaty.

Compliance: Unlike the CWC and the CTBT, the NPT does not have a built-in mechanism for non-compliance. In case of non-compliance with IAEA safeguards, the IAEA Board is to call upon the violator to remedy such non-compliance and should report the non-compliance to the UN Security Council and General Assembly. The UN bodies may impose specific penalties, such as curtailment or suspension of assistance, return of materials, or suspension of privileges and rights. An incentive to comply is peaceful nuclear assistance.

Iraq and Compliance: In December 1998, UN-mandated UNSCOM inspections in Iraq were suspended. By then, the IAEA Iraq Action Team had formed a technically coherent picture of Iraq's secret nuclear weapons program, and inspectors had effectively uncovered, mapped, and neutralized it.

A UN panel of experts tasked in 1999 with reporting on the results of the UNSCOM and IAEA efforts concluded that "the bulk of Iraq's proscribed weapons programme has been eliminated," but the experts emphasized that important issues remained unresolved. They further warned that, if weapons inspectors were kept outside Iraq, the risk that Iraq might reconstitute its programs would grow, and the initial assessments from which inspectors had been working would be jeopardized. The experts said the status quo was unacceptable, and they called for re-establishing an inspection regime in Iraq that was "effective, rigorous and credible."

On 12 September 2002, US President Bush delivered a speech to the United Nations General Assembly calling on the organization to enforce its resolutions for disarming Iraq. Four days later, the Iraqi government announced that it would allow arms inspectors to return "without conditions." Iraqi and UN officials met on September 17 to discuss the logistical arrangements for the return of inspectors and announce that final arrangements would be made at the end of the month. Inspections were renewed 27 November. On 19 December, 9 January 2003, 27 January, 14 February, and 7 March, IAEA Director General ElBaradei and UNMOVIC Chief Hans Blix briefed the Security Council on Iraq inspections and plans. On 18 March 2003, UN inspectors were withdrawn from Iraq due the US invasion of Iraq.

On 15 December 2010, the U.N. Security Council adopted three resolutions [S/RES/1956(2010), S/RES/1957(2010), S/RES/1958(2010)], that lifted international sanctions imposed on Iraq after the country's invasion of Kuwait in 1990. Specifically, the resolutions terminated the Oil-for-Food program and abrogated provisions that banned Iraq from importing sensitive/dual-use technology due to its potential applications in the production of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). The Security Council commended Iraq's progress on compliance with non-proliferation and disarmament commitments. Since the removal of Saddam Hussein from the power, the new Iraqi government had negotiated a comprehensive safeguards agreement with the IAEA and signed the Additional Protocol. It also acceded to the Chemical Weapons Convention, subscribed to the Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation, and announced its intent to ratify the Comprehensive Test-Ban-Treaty.

DPRK and Compliance: The DPRK is the only State to announce its intention to withdraw from the NPT. On 12 March 1993, the DPRK announced its intention to withdraw based on its supreme national interests, citing the Treaty's withdrawal clause (Article X (2). North Korea gave two reasons for its intention to withdraw: (1) the Team Spirit "nuclear war rehearsal" military exercises, and (2) the IAEA demand for special inspection of two suspect sites. On 11 June, one day before its withdrawal from the NPT was due to take effect, bilateral negotiations with the United States resulted in North Korea suspending the "effectuation" of its withdrawal and accepting normal IAEA inspection of the seven sites it had declared in its initial report to the Agency. The United States and DPRK signed an Agreed Framework in Geneva 21 October 1994.

The DPRK, which joined the IAEA in 1974, withdrew its membership from the IAEA 13 June 1994. The DPRK Safeguards Agreement with the IAEA remains in force, although there have been difficulties in verifying the DPRK's compliance. In September 2000, the Secretariat determined that it would need three to four years to carry out all the activities required to verify the correctness and completeness of the initial report. The focus has shifted from the actual substantive work to obtaining full DPRK cooperation to carry out these activities. So far the DPRK has not agreed to even discuss a program of work. The last technical meeting was held in November 2001.

A new phase started on 16 October 2002 with the announcement by the United States that the DPRK side had acknowledged, in talks with Assistant Secretary Kelly in early October that it had a "program to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons." On 29 November, the Board of Governors adopted a resolution without a vote in which the Board insisted that the DPRK should reply and cooperate with the Agency. On 22 December, the DPRK started to cut IAEA seals and disable IAEA surveillance cameras at its nuclear facilities. On 27 December, it ordered the IAEA inspectors to leave the country.

In light of these developments, the IAEA Board of Governors adopted a new resolution 6 January 2003 in which the DPRK was called upon to cooperate urgently with the Agency. The Board affirmed that unless the DPRK would take all required safeguards measures, it would be in further non-compliance with its safeguards agreement.

DPRK Withdrawal: On 10 January 2003, the Security Council again received notification from North Korea of the country's withdrawal from the NPT. The DPRK government announced that its withdrawal "will come into force automatically and immediately" on the next day, claiming that it had suspended its 1994 withdrawal from the Treaty on the last day of the required three-month notice period and thus did not need to give additional notice to other NPT Parties and the Security Council as required under Article X of the Treaty.

Following North Korea's announcement on 10 January 2003, the Board of Governors adopted a third resolution (GOV/2003/3) on 12 February 2003, declaring that North Korea was "in further non-compliance with its obligations under its Safeguards Agreement pursuant to the NPT" and decided to report "to the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council, North Korea's continued non-compliance and the Agency's inability to verify non-diversion of nuclear material that is subject to safeguards."

Although no statement on North Korea's withdrawal has to date been issued by the NPT States Parties, the generally held view is that North Korea's withdrawal came into effect on 10 April 2003 when its three-month notice of withdrawal expired. Moreover, the 2003 session of the Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) for the 2005 Review Conference did not take any specific decision with regard to North Korea's withdrawal. Instead, the PrepCom Chairman in his factual summary of the meeting stated inter alia that the "States parties felt that the DPRK's decision to withdraw from the Treaty represented a serious challenge to the global non-proliferation regime" and that the "States parties called upon the DPRK to dismantle its nuclear weapons programme in a prompt, verifiable and irreversible way" (see paragraph 28 of the Chairman's factual summary).

Other Major Provisions: Other major provisions include the right of any group of States to conclude regional treaties to assure the absence of nuclear weapons in their respective territories; and the convening of review conferences every five years (seven review conferences have been held: in 1975, 1980, 1985, 1990, 1995, 2000, and 2005).

The NPT was accompanied by United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 255 (19 June 1968) on security assurances to NPT NNWS. On 11 April 1995, the five NWS through UN Security Council Resolution 984 issued harmonized negative security assurances for NNWS parties to the NPT.

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2010 Review Conference
2005 Review Conference
2000 Review Conference
1995 Review and Extension Conference

2014 Preparatory Committee for the 2015 Review Conference

From 28 April – 9 May 2014, the Third Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) to the 2015 Review Conference was convened at the United Nations Office in New York under the chairmanship of Ambassador Enrique Roman-Morey of Peru. The purpose of the Committee was to assess the implementation of each article of the NPT in pursuit of achieving a consensus report comprised of comprehensive recommendations for the upcoming Review Conference. The assembled States Parties, however, were unable to achieve the requisite consensus on appropriate recommendations, and so the Chair of the committee issued a Chair’s Working Paper in the place of such a report. In his Working Paper, the Chair outlined his own aggregation of recommendations for the 2015 Review Conference on 8 May, highlighting in particular the following issues:

Nuclear Disarmament and Security Assurances: The Chair reaffirmed the urgency and importance of progress on full implementation of Article VI of the NPT, including continued effort to implement the concrete steps of the 2010 NPT RevCon’s action plan. The Chair called for accelerated effort in complete elimination of existing nuclear arsenals, stressing that this elimination should be irreversible, transparent and verifiable. In addition, the Chair emphasized the need for NWS to reduce the alert status of their nuclear weapon systems and take unilateral, bilateral, regional, and multilateral steps to reduce the risk of their accidental use. The Chair’s Paper went on to encourage NWS to minimize the role nuclear weapons play in their military and security policies and not to develop new types of nuclear weapons or make qualitative improvements to existing weapons. The Chairman positively noted the UN Secretary-General’s five-point proposal for nuclear disarmament and stressed the importance of CTBT entry into force, the adoption of a comprehensive programme of work by the CD, and the establishment of further Nuclear-Weapon-Free-Zones. He urged States Parties to put in their utmost effort to achieve these priorities, concluding this section of his report by highlighting the continued worldwide need for education in the field of nonproliferation and disarmament.

The New Agenda Coalition (NAC), composed of Ireland, Brazil, Egypt, Mexico, New Zealand, and South Africa, submitted a substantive Working Paper on Nuclear disarmament. The NAC emphasized its desire for a “comprehensive and legally binding framework committing all States to a world free of nuclear weapons… implemented in an unconditional manner and backed by clearly defined timelines and benchmarks.” The specific measures involved in this framework were: “a prohibition against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons; a prohibition against the possession, stockpiling, development or transfer of nuclear weapons; a prohibition against the production of or the use of already existing fissile material for nuclear weapons and the placing of all such fissile material under international safeguards; and a prohibition against nuclear-weapons tests in all their forms, including both supercritical and subcritical tests.” The NAC also asserted the need for either a Nuclear Weapons Convention or a Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty as instruments to achieve the aforementioned changes, or, failing that, a framework or hybrid arrangement designed to accomplish the same goal.

The Cluster 1 discussion focused specifically on negative security assurances. During this session, the Russian Federation asserted that the delegations from Ukraine and several other States Parties had wrongly reproached Russia for noncompliance with the Budapest Memorandum. Responding to the accusation that this alleged noncompliance threatened the non-nuclear-weapon states’ trust in negative security assurances, and therefore would drive them to ensure their own security through the pursuit of nuclear weaponry, Russia dismissed such notions as “groundless and unscrupulous.” Other States Parties emphasized during these cluster discussions the need for unequivocal and legally binding security assurances for NNWS from the NWS and urged the NWS to sign and ratify the negative security assurance protocols to the NWFZ treaties.

Nuclear Nonproliferation: In addressing the Cluster 2 subject of nuclear nonproliferation, the Chair urged the 12 States parties who had not yet done so to reach comprehensive safeguard agreements with the IAEA and amend or rescind small quantities protocols. Calling for strengthened political, technical, and financial support of the IAEA, he highlighted the importance of ensuring compliance with the IAEA’s safeguards concerning special fissionable material intended for peaceful nuclear purposes. The Chair also emphasized the continued essentiality of well-enforced, transparent, and carefully considered nuclear export controls so as to prevent direct or indirect aiding of the development of nuclear weapons. Equally important, the Chair noted, was to ensure enhanced physical protection of all nuclear material and nuclear facilities. In line with this goal, the Chair encouraged all States parties to adhere to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Physical Materials (CPPNM).

Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy: In his Working Paper, the Chair reaffirmed the inalienable rights of sovereign states to pursue peaceful uses of nuclear energy, noting that the IAEA should give preferential assistance to the NNWS as they seek to develop their peaceful nuclear capabilities. He also noted the continued essentiality of strict safeguards on all peaceful nuclear programs, encouraging further voluntary steps toward decreasing the overall quantity of highly enriched uranium in the civilian sector and ensuring the safety of peaceful nuclear energy transportation. He urged all States parties to sign and ratify relevant conventions, treaties, and international regimes to protect and develop peaceful uses of nuclear energy worldwide.

Regional and Middle East Issues: The Chair acknowledged the general disappointment with the failure to convene the 2012 Conference on the Middle East potential Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone (NWFZ), welcoming letters from the League of Arab States and the Islamic Republic of Iran asserting their endorsement of the Middle East as a NWFZ. He re-emphasized the continued importance of the 1995 Resolution, asserting that it should be a definitive priority until fully implemented. The Chair concluded this section of his Paper by expressing deep concern over the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s nuclear programme, reaffirming that it cannot be labeled a Nuclear Weapon State and calling upon the DPRK to engage in diplomatic dialogue in the aim of ending its nuclear testing and development.

2013 Preparatory Committee for the 2015 Review Conference

In February 2013, Member States expressed concern that the Arab League might boycott the upcoming Preparatory Committee meeting in response to the lack of progress towards holding a conference on a WMD-Free Zone in the Middle East (WMDFZME). On 23 November 2012, the United States had issued a statement postponing the December 2012 WMDFZME conference. Because the convening states had not rescheduled the Conference, Egypt appeared poised to lead a boycott of the 2013 PrepCom.

From 22 April – 3 May, the Second Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) to the 2015 Review Conference took place. Ambassador Cornel Feruta of Romania chaired the conference. He submitted a Chair’s Factual Summary as a working paper for the Review Conference, outlining the views expressed and topics discussed at the PrepCom. Debate and working papers from the conference emphasized the following issues:  

Middle East: Cluster two of the PrepCon specifically addressed regional issues with respect to the Middle East. Many countries emphasized the importance of the implementation of the 1995 Middle East resolution, which called for the WMDFZME.

On 29 April, as cluster two discussions began, Egypt withdrew from the PrepCom to protest the lack of progress toward the postponed WMDFZME Conference. Most Arab states also expressed frustration with the situation, as evidenced by a working paper submitted by the League of Arab States, but did not join Egypt in the walkout. The States Parties of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and the Arab League also expressed dissatisfaction with the language in the Chair’s Summary related to the Middle East, which they felt did not accurately reflect their priorities.

Humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons: On the first day of the conference, South African Ambassador Abdul Samad Minty gave a statement on behalf of 80 members on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons, emphasizing the indiscriminate, unacceptable harm caused by such weapons and deprecating the costs to socio-economic development, the environment, and future generations. Statements in the general debate by the European Union, Ireland, Brazil on behalf of the New Agenda Coalition (NAC), and Australia on behalf of the Vienna Group of 10 also emphasized the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons, as did working papers submitted by the NAC, the NAM, and the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative.

Involvement of civil society: Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) addressed PrepCom delegates in an official meeting on 24 April. The civil society presentations consisted of a keynote address by Ward Wilson and a panel discussion of civil society activists moderated by Tim Wright, followed by an open floor for the delegates to ask questions.

States applauded the increasing involvement of civil society. On 25 April, Japan, with the support of 32 states, affirmed the importance of partnerships between governments and civil organizations to promote disarmament and non-proliferation education. During a discussion of NPT reforms on 2 May, Ireland and the Netherlands expressed a desire for better interaction between civil society and the NPT and Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands, the United States, and the Chair voiced appreciation for the contributions of civil society to the review process.  

 

Disarmament: On 24 April, cluster one discussions, which focused on non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, disarmament and international peace and security, commenced. Much of the discussion focused on obligations of the NPT NWS to pursue negotiations relating to nuclear disarmament “in good faith”, as required by article VI of the NPT. The United States, Russia, China, and Japan emphasized that the best method of achieving disarmament is a “step-by-step” approach.

However, many countries deplored the lack of progress towards disarmament and expressed concerns over nuclear weapon modernization programs and high levels of fissile material stock. Reflecting these sentiments, the Irish delegation declared, “Persistent underachievement in progressing the global disarmament agenda is no longer acceptable.” Along with other NNWS, the NAM accused the P5 of neglecting disarmament and disproportionately focusing on non-proliferation. The NAM stressed that “reductions in deployment and in operational status cannot substitute for irreversible cuts in, and the total elimination of, nuclear weapons.”

Proposals to advance disarmament included a reduction in the role of nuclear weapons in military doctrines, negotiations on a nuclear weapons convention, and the inclusion of non-strategic weapons in any future disarmament processes.

Nonproliferation: On 26 April, Switzerland affirmed the success of the NPT in the area of nonproliferation, citing that “nearly all States Parties have been in full compliance with their nonproliferation obligations.” However, many countries cited areas of proliferation concern at the PrepCom. The NAM named vertical proliferation as an area of concern. Switzerland, along with the European Union, Australia, Japan, and South Africa, condemned the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s nuclear tests as violations of UN Security Council Resolutions. The European Union expressed concern with Iran’s nuclear program, urging Iran to engage constructively in negotiations to restore international confidence in Iran’s compliance with its obligations under the NPT and UNGC and IAEA resolutions. France, New Zealand, the United States, and the European Union also called on Syria to cooperate fully with the IAEA.

Cluster one and two of the PrepCom both addressed nonproliferation of nuclear weapons. Cluster one discussed nonproliferation in the context of disarmament and international peace and security. Countries expressed many differing views. Ireland argued that disarmament removes incentives to develop nuclear capabilities, while Kenya argued that nuclear weapon use incentivizes proliferation. Austria affirmed the United Nations Open-Ended Working Group as an opportunity to “generate more momentum towards disarmament.” However, many of the P5 expressed concern that the OEWG would undermine existing efforts towards disarmament and nonproliferation and weaken the non-proliferation regime.

Cluster two addressed nonproliferation of nuclear weapons, safeguards, and nuclear-weapon-free zones. Many countries argued that the Middle East zone should address general regional proliferation issues, rather than focus solely on the position of Israel.

Peaceful uses of nuclear energy: Cluster three of the PrepCom focused on the right of all Parties to the Treaty to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. Australia emphasized its right to choose to avoid nuclear power and claimed that nuclear energy can never be completely safe. Considering the Fukushima accident, Japan, Ireland, Canada, Norway, Ukraine, and the United States voiced support for strengthening nuclear safety. The Irish delegation further noted that the nuclear emergencies do not respect borders, and thus should be combatted through international cooperation.

Continuing and strengthening the review process: On 2 May, the last session of the conference focused on strengthening the review process. Many suggestions were made, including shortening the duration of the first two PrepComs, holding the PrepComs in areas besides New York, Geneva and Vienna, and changing the agendas to be more focused. Many states expressed concern regarding the legitimacy of the NPT. These states pressed the final PrepCom to make substantive progress to avoid undermining the non-proliferation regime as a whole.

The Non-Aligned Movement nominated Mr. Enrique Roman-Morey, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Peru to the United Nations in New York, as its candidate for Chair of the third session of the PrepCom.

2012 Preparatory Committee for the 2015 Review Conference

The 2012 Preparatory Conference (PrepCom) convened from 30 April to 11 May at the Vienna International Centre in Vienna, Austria under the chairmanship of Ambassador Peter Woolcott of Australia. The Committee’s objectives were to adopt a provisional agenda and draft rules of procedure for the 2015 RevCon, appoint a secretary-general, and adopt a final report and recommendation of the Preparatory Committee to the Review Conference.

The final report of the Preparatory Committee was adopted on 11 May 2012. Ambassador Woolcott chose to submit a Chair’s Factual Summary of the substantive deliberations of the PrepCom as a working paper for the review process. A total of 111 countries participated in the PrepCom.

At the first plenary meeting on 30 April, the Committee adopted a provisional agenda for the 2015 RevCon. The Committee also decided on the venue and date for the next PrepCom: the 2013 NPT PrepCom will be held in Geneva, from 22 April to 3 May 2013. The UN’s Eastern European geographic group designated Romania to chair the second session. The Chair-designate is Ambassador Cornel Feruta.

The general debate and working papers of the PrepCom focused on the following issues:

Nuclear disarmament and security assurances: The most significant progress in the realm of nuclear disarmament since the 2010 RevCon was the entry into force on 5 February 2011 of the Treaty Between the United States of America and the Russian Federation on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (New START). New START commits the United States and Russia to reduce their deployed strategic nuclear arms substantially over a seven-year period after the entry into force of the treaty. The treaty explicitly allows nuclear modernization and does not limit non-deployed strategic nuclear arms or tactical nuclear weapons.

The States Parties of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) called for the commencement of the negotiation for a universal, unconditional and legally binding instrument on security assurances. Furthermore, they declared that the current security assurances are very limited, conditional and insufficient. However, the Republic of Iran considers the total elimination of nuclear weapons as the only guarantee against the use or threat of such weapons. China also called upon the nuclear weapon states to support the establishment of NWFZs .

Peaceful uses of nuclear energy: The Vienna Group of 10 recognized the benefits of the peaceful pursuit of nuclear energy. They called for the IAEA’s functions to be further enhanced to create better cooperation among the state parties.

The Arab states also submitted a working paper on the peaceful use of nuclear energy, reiterating that any attempt to restrict the right to peaceful nuclear energy is prohibited. The Islamic Republic of Iran and the People’s Republic of China also referenced this in their joint working paper.

Nonproliferation: The widespread international condemnation of the provocative 13 April 2012 testing by the DPRK of a ballistic missile over the Yellow Sea continued at the 2012 PrepCom. Opening statements by Australia, the P5, Japan and South Korea all dealt harshly with the DPRK launch. A general consensus existed at the PrepCom that the DPRK should fulfill its commitments to verifiably abandoning its nuclear weapons and nuclear weapons programs made pursuant to the Six-Party Talks in 2005. Similarly, broad support was found for not allowing the DPRK to obtain NWS status in the NPT under any conditions.

Middle East: Many States Parties stated that more effort needs to be exerted to implement the 1995 resolution of a nuclear free zone in the Middle East. Most state parties are supportive of the Middle East Nuclear Weapon Free Zone but are weary of the fact that Israel still has nuclear weapons and Iran may be developing nuclear weapons. Several states addressed the issue of a Middle East Nuclear Weapon Zone. In particular, these state parties stated that although Iran has the right to pursue peaceful nuclear energy, it should fully cooperate with the IAEA to allow its inspections to proceed in the country. Israel is also a great concern to these state parties because Israel has neither joined the NPT nor placed its facilities under IAEA inspection.  

2010 Action Plan: The Group of Non-Aligned States emphasized the importance of the 2010 Action Plan to nuclear disarmament and urged the full implementation of the action plan as soon as possible. The Non-Aligned Movement is encouraged by the New START treaty between the United States and Russia in 2011 and hopes to see continued progress in this area. Other countries, especially the P5, also reaffirmed their commitment to the action plan adopted in 2010.

2011: On 30 June-1 July in Paris, the P5 met for a follow-up meeting to the 2010 NPT Review Conference and to the London Conference on Confidence Building Measures towards Nuclear Disarmament in September 2009.

The P5 reaffirmed their support for the NPT and the implementation of the balance Action Plan agreed in the Final Document of the 2010 NPT Review Conference. The participants agreed to continue working together on their shared goal of nuclear disarmament. In order to achieve that goal, they called on all States Parties and Non Parties to the Treaty to remain loyal to the nonproliferation and disarmament regimes.

The P5 agreed to continue working on creating a glossary of definitions for key nuclear terms and establishing a working group for this project. In addition, the participants addressed political and technical obstacles in relations to verification regime. This matter will be further discussed at the expert-level meeting in London later this year.

The P5 addressed the Additional Protocol and Article X of the Treaty as a follow-up to the Review Conference in 2010. Parties also reaffirmed their commitment to promoting universalization of the CTBT and called upon all States to refrain from conducting nuclear weapon test explosions and other acts that undermine the Treaty.

At the 71st Plenary meeting on 2 December, the date for the first session of the Preparatory Committee was set for 30 April to 11 May 2012.

2010 Review Conference

The 2010 Review Conference (RevCon) took place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City from 3-28 May. The Conference held 16 plenary meetings. Representatives from 172 States, the IAEA, 9 intergovernmental organizations, and 120 nongovernmental organizations attended the RevCon.

The RevCon opened with the election of Ambassador Libran Cabactulan of the Philippines as president by acclamation. Committee officers consisted of Ambassador Boniface Chidyausiku (Zimbabwe) chairing Main Committee I, Ambassador Volodymyr Yelchenko (Ukraine) chairing Main Committee II, Ambassador Takeshi Nakane (Japan) chairing Main Committee III, Ambassador Andrzej Towpik (Poland) chairing the Drafting Committee, and Ambassador Abulkalam Momen (Bangladesh) chairing the Credentials Committee. The Conference also established three Subsidiary Bodies under the Main Committees, with Subsidiary Body 1 chaired by Ambassador Alexander Marschik (Austria), Subsidiary Body 2 chaired by Ambassador Alison Kelly (Ireland), and Subsidiary Body 3 chaired by Ambassador Jose Luis Cancela (Uruguay). Each Subsidiary Body held more than four open-ended meetings. The outcome of their work was included in the report of their respective Main Committees.

A list of procedural items gained consensus early, allowing to start work on substance matters during the second week when the committees and subsidiary bodies began their discussions. The draft reports of the committees and subsidiary bodies made a clear distinction between the review sections and the forward-looking action plans.

President Cabactulan also conducted informal consultation with a Focus Group that included representatives from the United States, Russia, China, France, United Kingdom, Brazil, Cuba, Egypt, Germany, Iran, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Norway, Spain, South Africa, and other states. At these informal meetings, the most contentious issues were debated in order to narrow the differences and identify common ground that the Action Plan of the Final Document could be built upon. The head of the Norwegian delegation, Ambassador Steffen Kongstad, served as a facilitator.

Three days before the RevCon concluded, President Cabactulan released a draft of the Final Document based on the substantive elements prepared by the chairs of the main committees and their subsidiary bodies. Nuclear Weapon States (NWS) believed that the disarmament sections of the draft were too ambitious, while the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) was unwilling to accept the components related the universalization of Additional Protocol. There was also disagreement over language concerning implementation of the 1995 Resolution on the Middle East.

Based on the feedback received from the committees, subsidiary bodies, appointed facilitators, and the Focus Group, President Cabactulan released a revised Final Document text at the end of the penultimate day of the RevCon. No further revisions of the document were made prior to the RevCon conclusion. The Final Document was divided into a review and forward-looking sections. The RevCon took note of the Review section, which was described in the footnote as the President's responsibility, reflecting, to the best of his knowledge, what transpired with regard to matters of review. This section contains some of the issues that did not gain consensus but were often supported by the majority of states, such as specific timelines for nuclear disarmament.

The section of the Final Document titled "Conclusions and recommendations for follow-on actions," which includes 64 specific actions items, was adopted by consensus. It is divided into four broad subsections dealing with nuclear disarmament, nuclear nonproliferation, peaceful uses of nuclear energy, and the Middle East. More specifically, it addresses the following areas:

Nuclear Disarmament: NPT Member-Sates committed to pursue policies that are fully compatible with the objective of achieving a world without nuclear weapons and to apply the principles of irreversibility, verifiability and transparency to arms reductions.

Reaffirming the validity of the 13 Practical Steps of the 2000 RevCon, the NWS committed to undertake further efforts to reduce and ultimately eliminate all types of nuclear weapons, deployed and non-deployed, including through unilateral, bilateral, regional and multilateral measures, with the states with the largest arsenals playing the leading roles. To accelerate concrete progress on the 13 Practical Steps, the NWS were called upon to engage and report to the 2014 Preparatory Committee on their undertaking aimed at:

(a) Rapidly moving towards an overall reduction in the global stockpile of all types of nuclear weapons; (b) Addressing the question of all nuclear weapons regardless of their type or their location;

(c) Further diminishing the role and significance of nuclear weapons in their policies;

(d) Discussing policies that could prevent the use of nuclear weapons and contribute to the non-proliferation and disarmament;

(e) Considering the legitimate interest of NNWS in further reducing the operational status of nuclear weapons systems;

(f) Reducing the risk of accidental use of nuclear weapons; and

(g) Further enhancing transparency and increase mutual confidence.

Negative Security Assurances. It was agreed that the Conference on Disarmament should immediately establish a subsidiary body to address nuclear disarmament, as well as immediately begin substantive discussion of effective international arrangements to assure NNWS against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons, with a view to elaborating recommendations dealing with all aspects of this issue, not excluding an international legally binding instrument.

Fissile Material: The CD was also urged to immediately begin negotiating a treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices. To facilitate it, the RevCon invited the Secretary-General of the United Nations to convene a high-level meeting in September 2010 in support of the work of the CD.

NWS were encouraged to declare to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) all fissile material no longer required for military purposes and to place such material under IAEA or other relevant international safeguards. All States parties were encouraged to support the development of appropriate legally binding verification arrangements, within the context of the IAEA, to safeguard fissile material. All NWS were encouraged to dismantle or convert to peaceful uses all facilities for the production of fissile material for weapons purposes.

Nuclear Testing: All NWS undertook to ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) with expediency. NWS also have the special responsibility to encourage Annex 2 countries to sign and ratify the CTBT. All States parties that have ratified the CTBT committed to promote its entry into force and implementation at the national, regional, and global levels, including reporting progress made towards this goal during the 2011 Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the CTBT (Article XIV Conference) and supporting the completion of the global International Monitoring System. All States parties committed to refrain from nuclear weapon test explosions or any other nuclear explosions, the use of new nuclear weapons technologies and from any action that would defeat the purpose of the CTBT, and to uphold all existing moratoria on nuclear-weapon test explosions.

Measures in support of nuclear disarmament. All states agreed to provide regular reports on the implementation of the action plan and decisions of the previous RevCons. NWS were encouraged to agree on a standardized, publically accessible form to report on their nuclear arsenals. All States were also encouraged to implement the recommendations of the United Nations study on disarmament and non-proliferation education.

Nuclear Nonproliferation and IAEA Safeguards: The RevCon called upon States parties to extend their cooperation to the IAEA, underscoring the importance of resolving all cases of non-compliance with safeguards obligations in full conformity with IAEA statute and the respective legal obligations of Member States. Those States parties without comprehensive safeguards and additional protocols were urged to bring them into force as soon as possible. States parties that have not amended or rescinded their small quantities protocols were encouraged to do so as soon as possible.

The RevCon encouraged all States parties to conclude and to bring into force additional protocols as soon as possible and to implement them provisionally pending their entry into force. It also stressed that comprehensive safeguards and additional protocols should be universally applied once the complete elimination of nuclear weapons has been achieved.

The RevCon recommended that IAEA safeguards be regularly assessed and evaluated. NWS were called upon to widen the application of safeguards at peaceful nuclear facilities, under the relevant voluntary offer safeguards agreements. All States parties were called upon to support the IAEA through providing political, technical, and financial support, including further developing a robust, flexible, adaptive, and cost effective international technology base for advanced safeguards through cooperation with other States parties.

While developing their own national export controls, States parties were encouraged to make use of multilaterally negotiated and agreed guidelines. Concerning nuclear exports, States parties were encouraged to facilitate transfers of nuclear technology and materials and international cooperation among States parties. Supplier States are also encouraged to consider whether a recipient State has brought into force IAEA safeguards obligations in making nuclear export decisions and in conformity with NPT articles I, II, III and IV.

States parties were encouraged to maintain the highest possible standard of physical protection of nuclear materials and facilities, applying as appropriate the IAEA recommendations on the physical protection of nuclear materials and nuclear facilities and other relevant international instruments. States parties to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material were called to ratify the amendment to the Convention as soon as possible.

The IAEA was encouraged to continue assisting States parties in strengthening their national regulatory controls of nuclear materials. The RevCon called upon all States parties to improve their national capabilities to detect, deter, and disrupt the trafficking of nuclear materials through their territories, including becoming party to the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism.

Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy: The RevCon called on all States Parties to respect decisions in the field of peaceful nuclear energy without jeopardizing its international cooperation agreements or arrangements. The RevCon also called for cooperation between States parties and international organizations on the further development of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, with preferential treatment given to the developing countries. All States parties were encouraged to make additional contributions to the initiative designed to raise $100 million over the next five years as extra-budgetary contributions to IAEA activities. It was agreed that any development of nuclear energy must be accompanied with further implementation of IAEA safeguards.

The RevCon agreed to continue discussing, under the auspices of IAEA or regional forums, the development of multilateral approaches to the nuclear fuel cycle, including the possibilities of creating mechanisms for assurance of nuclear fuel supply, as well as possible schemes dealing with the back-end of the fuel cycle. It encouraged States to minimize the use and civilian stocks of highly enriched uranium. The RevCon called upon all States to abide by the 2009 IAEA General Conference decision prohibiting armed attack or threat of attack against nuclear installations, during operation or under construction.

1995 Resolution on the Middle East: The RevCon called on Israel to accede to the NPT as a NNWS and to place all its nuclear facilities under comprehensive safeguards. All States in the Middle East region were urged to take the relevant steps and confidence-building measures to contribute to the objectives of the 1995 Resolution on the Middle East. The RevCon established that a conference should be convened by the UN Secretary-General and three cosponsors of the 1995 Resolution (the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Russian Federation) in 2012 on the establishment of a zone free of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East. It further decided that the UN Secretary-General and the cosponsors, in consultation with the States of the region, should appoint a facilitator, with a mandate to support implementation of the 1995 Resolution by conducting consultations with the States of the region in that regard and undertaking preparations for the convening of the 2012 Conference, as well as assisting in implementation of follow-on steps. The IAEA, Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OCPW) and other relevant international organizations were requested to prepare background documents for the conference.

Other Regional Issue: The DPRK was strongly urged to fulfill the commitments under the Six-Party Talks and to return to the Treaty and adhere to its IAEA safeguards agreement. India and Pakistan were not mentioned in the Action Plan.


2009 Preparatory Committee for the 2010 Review Conference

The 2009 Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) convened from 4-15 May at UN Headquarters in New York under the chairmanship of Ambassador Boniface G. Chidyausiku of Zimbabwe. The Committee's objectives were to adopt a provisional agenda and draft rules of procedure for the 2010 RevCon, nominate a president-designate, and most challengingly, forge consensus on substantive recommendations for the Conference. Representatives from 135 States Parties participated in one or more sessions of the PrepCom. In addition, representatives of 77 nongovernmental agencies attended the meetings of the Committee. The final report of the Preparatory Committee, adopted on 15 May 2009, was issued as a document of the 2010 Review Conference prior to its opening.

On the third day of the meeting, the Committee adopted a provisional agenda for the 2010 RevCon. Unlike the 2005 agenda (which was not adopted in advance of that RevCon), the 2010 draft agenda stipulated that the review would take into account the decisions and the resolution adopted by the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference and the final document of the 2000 RevCon, as previous objectors no longer insisted on excluding reference to these agreements.

In addition to the agenda, the PrepCom agreed on other procedural matters including the draft rules of procedure and the designation of the main chairs for the RevCon. The Committee unanimously endorsed Ambassador Libran N. Cabactulan of the Philippines for the Presidency of the 2010 Review Conference. Thomas Markram (Senior Political Affairs Officer, Weapons of Mass Destruction Branch, UN Office for Disarmament Affairs) was nominated to serve as provisional Secretary-General of the 2010 Review Conference. In addition, the Committee was able to agree on the schedule for the division of costs for financing the RevCon. After reviewing availability of conference facilities, the Committee decided to hold the 2010 RevCon from 3-28 May in New York, a week later than originally planned.

For the first time in many years, States were able to negotiate, albeit indirectly, on issues of substance through a set of private consultations with the chairman. By Thursday of the first week (7 May), Ambassador Chidyausiku was able to issue a set of draft recommendations for the RevCon, taking into account the positions put forward in the general debate. The draft contained recommendations on a disarmament action and was viewed as favoring positions of the NAM countries. After the delegations consulted and provided their feedback, a revised draft was released on Wednesday 13 May. The second draft was more representative of the NWS and Western states' positions.

Ambassador Chidyausiku concluded that there was insufficient time and political will to reach a consensus document and suggested that States not spoil the positive atmosphere by continuing the indirect negotiations. Indonesia supported this suggestion on behalf of the NAM, but a diverse set of countries (including several NAM members) exhorted States to work until the last possible minute to reach consensus. Under pressure from these States, a third draft was released on the final day of the PrepCom (15 May). This set of recommendations sought to find middle ground between the first two drafts, but did not gain consensus.

Ambassador Chidyausiku decided that the draft recommendations would not be forwarded to the RevCon as a chairman's working paper, breaking with tradition from recent PrepComs. Despite the lack of final recommendations, many viewed the 2009 PrepCom as a success due to the adoption of agenda for the upcoming RevCon. Although no final recommendations were adopted, the most contentious issues were identified and acknowledged, and the groundwork was laid for future discussions. The positions of the new U.S. administration presaged by President Obama's speech in Prague on April 5 played a key role in creating a positive atmosphere for the PrepCom. States Parties were receptive to the renewed emphasis on multilateral diplomacy, arms control, and disarmament.

During the general debate and consultations on the draft recommendations, the States Parties focused on the following issues:

Nuclear disarmament and security assurances: With a more progressive position than its predecessor, the U.S. delegation issued commitments to pursue ratification of the CTBT. The first draft recommendations proposed an "action plan to achieve nuclear disarmament, including specific practical measures." Among these measures were the CTBT, a fissile material treaty, greater transparency in nuclear arsenals, reducing operational status, and refraining from qualitative improvement of nuclear weapons. The recommendation of negotiating a nuclear weapons convention, however, gained little traction among the nuclear weapon-states (NWS), particularly France. France was also reluctant to discuss binding negative security assurances. China requested to move the language on "international stability" and "undiminished security for all" from step 9 of the 13 steps to the top of the disarmament action plan. This was contentious, as it appeared to imply that depending on the situation there could be justification for the nuclear weapon states refusing to take any disarmament actions.

The five NWS issued a joint press release on the final day, but displayed little agreement except regarding a positive attitude toward the CTBT and the negotiations between Russia and the United States for a follow-on treaty to START. The press release did, however, reiterate the NWS' "enduring and unequivocal commitment to work towards nuclear disarmament," language from the 2000 final document that had been avoided by the previous U.S. administration.

Nonproliferation: Western group argued that States needed to do more to address possible cases of noncompliance with NPT obligations, with the EU and countries such as Australia raising concerns over Iran's nuclear program. All state delegations supported the call for the countries outside the NPT to join the treaty immediately. States expressed common support for nuclear-weapon-free zones (NWFZs) as a means of strengthening the NPT, although France, the United States, and the United Kingdom preferred to recognize rather than welcome the recent establishment of the Central Asian NWFZ. Developed countries including those in the EU also sought to make the IAEA Additional Protocol the new standard for safeguards; however Brazil implied that existing comprehensive safeguards were sufficiently effective, a position also maintained by many NAM countries.

Peaceful uses of nuclear energy: Many States supported the consideration of multilateral approaches to the nuclear fuel cycle including assurances of supply. NAM States insisted that any such arrangement would have to be nondiscriminatory and not infringe on Article IV rights. States affirmed the importance of both multilateral and bilateral nuclear cooperation programs.

Middle East: The issue of implementing the 1995 Resolution on the Middle East was of great importance at the PrepCom and was addressed in all three drafts. The second and third drafts contained three concrete recommendations including the establishment of a subsidiary body at the 2010 RevCon "to consider concrete practical steps to promote the earliest implementation" of the resolution; appointing a special coordinator to consult with all countries in the region and report to the RevCon; and convening a future conference on the issue. These proposals gained wide support after their endorsement by Russia, though they were drawn from previous working papers submitted by Egypt, Iran, by different States on behalf of the League of Arab States and others.

Withdrawal: North Korea's withdrawal from the Treaty was discussed, with the focus on how to interpret and apply the Article X provision on withdrawal. Each of the three drafts recommended that the RevCon "consider the proposals presented in the Preparatory Committee that identified modalities under which States parties could collectively respond to notifications of withdrawal." Withdrawal has been particularly challenging because it was a non-issue before 2003, and 2000 was the last time States reached consensus on issues of substance.

2008 Preparatory Committee for the 2010 Review Conference

The 2008 Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) convened in Geneva from 28 April until 9 May under the Chairmanship of Ambassador Yelchenko of Ukraine. Representatives from 106 States Parties participated in the work of the second session. The following specialized agencies and international and regional organizations were present as observers: the Brazilian-Argentine Agency for Accounting of and Control of Nuclear Materials (ABACC) the European Commission, the League of Arab States, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO PrepCom) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Representatives of 64 non-governmental organizations also attended the meetings of the Committee.

Unlike the 2007 PrepCom session, the 2008 session did not involve much debate on procedural issues and agenda setting. With the 2007 agenda as a basis, the debate involved discussions on more substantive matters. During the general debate, statements focused on the following issues:

  • Nuclear Disarmament: Most delegations expressed their support for the entry-into-force of the CTBT. The EU (represented by the Slovenian Presidency) for instance talked about "new momentum" for the treaty; however, the United States did not refer to the CTBT throughout the proceedings. Many states expressed support for a fissile material cut-off or ban, though it was noted that this process was held up within the CD. Many delegates reaffirmed their belief in the continuing relevance of the "13 Steps" adopted by the 2000 RevCon. Norway and Indonesia made reference to the February 2008 Oslo Conference. Some delegates also made special reference to the need to address the issue of tactical nuclear weapons.
  • Nuclear Force Modernization: Many states, mostly members of the New Agenda Coalition (NAC) and the NAM, criticized the modernization of their nuclear submarine capabilities by France and the United Kingdom. Delegates also voiced concern about a trend of vertical proliferation related to replacement and modernization projects by the NWS and by the non-NPT states.
  • Iran: Western delegations expressed concern over Iran's nuclear program, referring to the relevant UN Resolutions. Iran replied that its program is entirely for peaceful purposes and stated that Israel is the real danger in the Middle East.
  • North Korea: Many states recognized the dangers and challenges to the non-proliferation regime posed by the DPRK, but also underlined the positive steps taken towards denuclearization.
  • Syria: Canada and the United States raised the issue of the DPRK assisting Syria with the construction of a clandestine nuclear reactor (destroyed by an Israeli air strike in September 2007). Syria denied the veracity of these allegations and claimed that the United States falsified the accounts in order to exert pressure on the DPRK.
  • U.S.-India Deal: The NAM expressed, without naming countries, their concern about a certain nuclear cooperation deal between a NWS and a non-NPT state, obviously referring to the U.S.-Indian nuclear deal.
  • Safeguards: Many states expressed their support for the IAEA and the safeguards system. The EU, Russia and South Korea stressed the need to promote the universal implementation of the provisions of both comprehensive safeguards and the additional protocol.
  • The Nuclear Fuel Cycle: Some states recalled the NPT provision for promoting peaceful uses of nuclear technology and referred to state sovereignty issues and the possession of complete fuel-cycle capabilities. However, other states, such as Russia and Austria, brought forward the idea of an enrichment center under international control matched with fuel supply guarantees.
  • Education: Japan called attention to its efforts undertaken in collaboration with UNIDIR aiming at promoting education in disarmament issues.
  • Nuclear-Weapons-Free-Zones: The Arab States reaffirmed their interest in establishing a Nuclear-Weapons-Free-Zone in the Middle East (MENWFZ) and recalled the relevant Resolution adopted by the 1995 RevCon. They also revisited the issue of NPT universality.
  • Disarmament: In their respective statements, each NWS emphasized their own achievements in advancing nuclear disarmament. For example, Russia and the United States mentioned, among other things, their deep reductions in their arsenals while China noted the small size of its own arsenal as well as its unconditional negative assurances and no-first-use policy. Criticism also emerged between the NWS as Russia criticized the ongoing development of U.S. missile defenses, while China sought deeper reductions in the U.S. and Russian stockpiles.


Many points made during the general debate resurfaced during the debate on Cluster 1 issues related to Disarmament. However, several other issues were broached during the discussions. One issue that received considerable attention was Russia's proposal to extend and "globalize" the INF Treaty. Finland, on-behalf of a group of European non-NATO countries, called for a legally binding undertaking towards the elimination of tactical nuclear weapons by the United States and Russia. The United Kingdom elaborated on the nature of their cooperation with Norway and VERTIC, a non-governmental organization, on mechanisms to verify disarmament. The NAM called for a subsidiary body on nuclear disarmament to focus on fulfilling obligations under Article VI. The European Union, the NAC countries, Brazil and Japan in particular, revisited the principles of transparency and irreversibility. Iran criticized the failure of NWS to deliver on their Article VI obligations. The United States and the United Kingdom replied that non-proliferation concerns are the most damaging to progress on disarmament.

On the specific Cluster 1 issue of Negative Security Assurances (NSA), NAM countries lead by South Africa, Indonesia and Mexico, and further supported by Canada and Ukraine, asked once again for legally binding NSA within the framework of the NPT. The NWS once again alluded to their belief that unilateral, mostly conditional NSA provided through UNSC Resolutions were sufficient.

Many delegations expressed concern over non-compliance during the debate on Cluster 2 issues related to Non-Proliferation. Western states referred to Iran's nuclear program and its intentions, while South Korea, Japan and Australia also referred to the North Korean case. Australia and the Untied States also mentioned Syria's clandestine rector and the alleged co-operation with the DPRK. In response, Iran repeated that its program is intended only for peaceful purposes and accused Australia of supplying Israel with nuclear material, an allegation that Australia dismissed. Indonesia questioned why the United States did not inform the international community prior to the bombing of the Syrian installation. The United Kingdom stated that the UNSC P-5 plus Germany were in agreement on the gravity of the Iranian case and the dire need to address it, however, Russia and China distanced themselves from this statement. Iran submitted a working paper advocating compensation rights to any state whose rights have been violated under Article IV. All states recognized the importance of the IAEA safeguards system. Western states, the EU and Russia all emphasized the need to universalize the Additional Protocol, while Arab states pointed to the need for universal application of the CSA standards, alluding to the case of Israel. NAM states criticized the NSG as a "producers' cartel", while member states viewed the NSG as a useful tool of the non-proliferation regime. Finally, many states praised the value of UNSC 1540 and Russia endorsed the promotion non-proliferation resistant technologies, such as INPRO.

The prospects for a NWFZ in the Middle East monopolized the discussions on Regional Issues. Almost all of the delegations endorsed this long-standing proposal. However, there were two different approaches. Arab and Islamic countries, similar to the NAM statement, pointed at Israeli policy as the sole problem. Western states, however, linked progress on this issue to a lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on a two-state model. Western states also called for wider compliance with NPT provisions by all states in the region, while some directly named Iran. In principle, almost all speakers expressed their support for the idea and practice of NWFZs, but there was no mention of the absence of NWS signatures to the Protocols to the Central Asian and the South-Eastern Asia NWFZs. There was sporadic reference made to other regional issues such as DPRK and South Asia.

There were differences between developed and developing countries during the debate on Cluster 3 issues related to the peaceful use of nuclear technology. Statements from developed countries frequently mentioned their contributions to technical cooperation projects and noted that the prospective expansion of the nuclear energy sector is welcome, providing safeguards, safety and security norms are met. They called for universal adherence to the relevant treaties on physical protection, nuclear safety and fuel management. Moreover, they declared their support for projects advancing proliferation resistant technologies. Some also brought forward proposals for international/multilateral enrichment or fuel-production facilities. Meanwhile, developing countries emphasized the importance of the right to peaceful use under Article IV and called for the support of the Technical Cooperation programs of the IAEA, fuel supply assurances, and less stringent restrictions in exports. These states also expressed their concerns about technical cooperation becoming a tool of political pressure as developed states provide funds for the programs on a voluntary and selective basis. Furthermore, Egypt (which did not explicitly name the United States), Iran and Syria accused the United States of violating their NPT obligations for their agreements and cooperation with Israel, a non-member to the NPT. Iran also declared that it is not opposed to international fuel-cycle ventures, provided the arrangements do not interfere with the right of a single country to do the same. The Central Asian states, represented by Kyrgyzstan, pointed out the necessity to address issues concerning the clean up and proper management of radioactive waste from former nuclear plants and nuclear testing sites.

On the specific Cluster 3 issue of "other provisions of the Treaty", delegations focused on the right of withdrawal under Article X of the NPT. There were two main positions taken. The first one, supported by Indonesia, Iran, Cuba and others, insisted that this sovereign right should not be further conditioned or limited but it should remain as originally intended. All western states that spoke held the position that should a state exercise its right to withdrawal from the Treaty, its liability under international law to resolve any violations committed prior to its withdrawal would remain intact.

The Chairman of the 2008 PrepCom, Ambassador Yelchenko, drafted an extensive twelve page factual summary in an effort to objectively address all of the issues covered by the statements and take note of the main arguments delivered by the delegates. However, similar to the 2007 PrepCom, objections by some states (such as Iran and the United States) to annexing the chair's summary to the final report necessitated the submission and official release of the summary in the form of a "Chair's Working Paper." Ambassador Yelchenko was, however, congratulated by all delegates in their closing remarks for the conduct of the proceedings and thanked by most for the compilation of the factual summary. Iran and the United States both criticized the summary, seemingly for contradictory reasons.

In further preparation for the 2010 Review Conference, the Committee agreed that the third PrepCom session will be held in New York from 4 to 15 May 2009. The Committee endorsed the candidacy of Ambassador Boniface Guwa Chidyausiki of Zimbabwe as the chairman of the next session. A decision was also taken to hold the 2010 Review Conference in New York from 26 April to 21 May 2010. The UN Secretary General was invited to nominate an official to act as a provisional Secretary General to the 2010 Review Conference, a nomination to be confirmed by the Conference itself. Finally, the Secretariat issued a note estimating that the overall cost of the 2010 Review Conference, including the costs of the three sessions of the PrepCom, will probably exceed $13.4 million. The Committee called upon all states to pay their dues in full and requested that the UNSG circulate a financial report as a formal document at future Review Conferences and PrepCom sessions.

2007 Preparatory Committee for the 2010 Review Conference

The 2007 Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) was held in Vienna from 30 April until 11 May under the Chairmanship of Ambassador Amano of Japan. Representatives from 106 States Parties participated in the work of the first session. The following specialized agencies and international and regional organizations were present as observers: the European Commission, the League of Arab States, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization and the International Atomic Energy Agency. Representatives of 66 non-governmental organizations also attended the meetings of the Committee.

In its task of preparing for and making recommendations towards the 2010 NPT Review Conference, the 2007 PrepCom faced significant challenges early on in its session. Despite conducting consultations with various delegations prior to the start of the meeting, Chairman Amano's recommended draft agenda generated disputes that prolonged the adoption of the agenda and prevented substantive discussions from commencing until the second week. Contested in the agenda was the absence of any reference to the 2000 Review Conference agreement in the paragraph that frames the work of the Preparatory Committee. A reference was agreed upon by delegations, but at the insistence by some parties (France and the United States) that references to the 1975, 1985, and 2005 Review Conferences were also included, thereby diluting the significance of the 2000 outcome. The major point of contention, however, surrounded agenda item VI calling for states parties to "reaffirm the need for full compliance of the treaty." Iran insisted that the text be changed to clarify that "full compliance" entailed compliance with all provisions of the treaty, a position that was geared towards preventing a formalized and official censure of its enrichment activities. Chairman Amano discouraged parties from proposing amendments to the agenda, noting that the draft agenda had represented a fine balance of various positions based on prior consultations and that one amendment would invite other parties to propose changes thereby further delaying work on substantive issues.

During the course of the first week, seven possible solutions were debated. South Africa's proposal, presented on the final day of the first week, exhibited the most optimism for compromise. The proposal would put forth Iran's requested understanding of "full compliance" on record as a "decision" of the meeting that would be adopted along with the proposed agenda. Iran eventually agreed to the South African proposal with the qualification that a footnote be included defining "full compliance." After several days spent debating the agenda, it was finally adopted. The agenda will also be used for the following two Preparatory Commission sessions in 2008 and 2009 respectively.

Although substantive discussions were delayed until the last three days of the conference, a number of main issues emerged.

  • Nuclear Disarmament: A majority of states expressed support for early entry-into-force of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. It was noted that new opportunities are approaching, such as the CTBT Article XIV conference, to re-focus efforts in bringing those states that have not yet done so to ratify the treaty.

Although there remains diverging views as to verification of a Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty, all states were in support of the Conference on Disarmament commencing negotiations on an FMCT. The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) as well as a number of other states emphasized the importance of preventing an arms race in outer space (PAROS) and progress towards legally binding security assurances. Many delegations voiced their support for the CD's P-6 initiative, a program of work calling for simultaneous consideration of an FMCT, PAROS, and legally binding negative security assurances. The NAM insisted that legally binding negative security assurances should remain a priority for both the CD and the NPT review process. Working papers submitted by Italy and China also emphasized the need for progress on the matter.

Costa Rica, supported by Malaysia, submitted an updated version of a model nuclear weapons convention with the purpose of assisting states parties in their deliberations concerning article VI of the NPT at the 2010 Review Conference.

  • Regional Issues: In one session allocated specifically to this topic, states parties focused their discussions on the Middle East and North Korea. The NAM expressed regret that no progress had been made on Israel's accession to the NPT, and the establishment of a Middle East Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone. Oman proposed eight practical steps to achieving a NWFZ some of which included: the establishment of a subsidiary body within Main Committee II strictly dedicated to addressing the issue and the convening of an international conference on establishing a nuclear weapon-free zone in the Middle East.

The United States suggested there was little hope in achieving a Middle East free of WMD unless nations of the region uphold existing agreements to which they are parties. This was an indirect reference to Iran and its failure to fully comply with its IAEA safeguards agreement. The European Union (EU) called upon all states in the region to accede to the various WMD treaties while emphasizing the need for political solutions to facilitate this process.

  • Other Issues: A number of opinions were expressed on how to confront the issue of withdrawal from the NPT. While most states agreed that suspending the right of withdrawal was not feasible, a large number of states, most forcefully Japan, argued that costs of withdrawal be raised as to make those states that decide to withdraw responsible for any violations of the NPT committed while a party to the treaty. The United States and the EU also outlined a list of measures that should be considered when and if a state decides to withdraw.

A majority of states re-affirmed the importance of Article IV of the NPT, but many states however focused their remarks on the necessity of ensuring that nuclear programs remain dedicated to peaceful purposes. Accordingly there was significant discussion on multilateral approaches to ensure the supply of nuclear fuel. The EU expressed its view that the "multilateralization" of the nuclear fuel cycle would be a viable method of implementing article IV.

The Preparatory Committee concluded its work with the adoption of its report. There was significant resistance to the proposal of annexing the chairman's summary of the proceedings to the final PrepCom report. Some delegations, most notably Iran and other NAM states, had indicated that the chairman's summary did not evenly include issues discussed during the committee's session. A procedural solution was agreed upon, whereby the chair's summary, instead of forming part of the final report, would be submitted and turned into an official document of the conference in the form of a working paper.

In further preparation for the 2010 Review Conference, the committee agreed that the second session of the Preparatory Committee would be held in Geneva from 28 April to 9 May 2008. The Committee unanimously endorsed the candidacy of Ambassador Volodymyr Yelchenko of Ukraine as the chairman of the next session of the Committee.

2005 Review Conference

The seventh Review Conference of the NPT was held in New York from 2-27 May, and was attended by 153 States Parties. Also in attendance were a number of international and regional inter-governmental organizations, including representatives from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Agency for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America (OPANAL), the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, the African Union, the League of Arab States, and the Parliamentary Assembly of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Nearly 120 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and research institutions were also present for the Conference.

The Conference opened with the election of the president of the Conference by acclamation, Ambassador Sergio de Queiroz Duarte of Brazil, and the confirmation of the Conference Secretary-General, Jerzy Zaleski (Senior Political Officer, United Nations Department for Disarmament Affairs, Geneva). The Committee officers consisted of Ambassador Sudjadnan Parnohadiningrat (Indonesia) chairing Main Committee I, Ambasador László Molnár (Hungary) chairing Main Committee II, Ambassador Elisabet Borsiin Bonnier (Sweden) chairing Main Committee III, Ambassador Doru Romulus Costea (Romania) chairing the Drafting Committee, and Ambassador Philip Richard O. Owade (Kenya) chairing the Credentials Committee.

Following the election of the Conference President and Secretary-General, the first plenary was addressed by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who made an impassioned plea for the delegations to strengthen the nuclear nonproliferation regime and "come to terms with all the nuclear dangers that threaten humanity." The Secretary General was followed by IAEA Director-General Mohammad ElBaradei who described the need to strengthen the Agency's verification regime, address the proliferation-sensitive aspects of the nuclear fuel cycle, secure nuclear material, commit to nuclear disarmament, and enforce compliance.

From the afternoon of 2 May to 11 May, the Conference heard opening statements from 93 States Parties, including the regional and political groupings of the European Union, the New Agenda Coalition (NAC), the Non-Aligned Movement, the Arab Group, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), and the Pacific Islands Forum Group. These opening statements presented some of the key issues that the Conference was expected to discuss but offered few proposals as to how the Conference may address them. The challenges detailed in these statements include:

  • Treaty compliance-A number of states noted the need to enhance compliance with Articles I and II of the Treaty
  • Safeguards-Several states called for the Additional Protocol to become the new safeguard standard while others stressed the voluntary nature of the Protocol and suggested that a compromise was needed for such a measure to be adopted.
  • The Nuclear Fuel Cycle-A number of states, as well as IAEA Director-General ElBaradei, have argued that the sensitive aspects of he nuclear fuel cycle constitutes a "loophole" through which States Parties may develop the necessary technology for nuclear weapons. Many states therefore welcomed the IAEA report on "Multilateral Approaches to the Nuclear Fuel Cycle" suggesting that the report should guide efforts to address the nuclear fuel cycle. A couple of states went further to suggest additional controls or restrictions on the development of the nuclear fuel cycle. Such suggestions received considerable opposition from many other states which argued that limitations on the nuclear fuel cycle would constitute a considerable re-interpretation of Article IV of the Treaty.
  • Iran-Many delegations expressed various levels of concern over Iran's nuclear activities and supported the ongoing negotiations between the EU and Iran. A few states stated that Iran must permanently cease its enrichment and reprocessing activities.
  • North Korea-The majority of states recognized the challenge posed by the DPRK's withdrawal from the NPT and subsequent announcement that it has developed nuclear weapons. Most states also called for the DPRK to return to the Six-Party Talks in order to ensure a diplomatic solution. In addition to these calls, a number of delegations also stressed that the DPRK must verifiably dismantle its nuclear weapons program.
  • Non-state actors-Many states noted the need to address the issue of nuclear proliferation to non-state actors, whether illicit trafficking networks such as that of A.Q. Khan, terrorists, or both. Most states discussing this issue recalled new measures to address these threats such as the Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism, Security Council resolution 1540, and IAEA efforts to secure nuclear material.
  • Treaty Withdrawal-A number of states suggested the need to prevent states from withdrawing fore the purpose of developing nuclear weapons. Some of these states simply sought to address the withdrawal provisions of the Treaty while others called for measures to discourage withdrawals, including the establishment of consequences for withdrawal, such as the freeze or dismantlement of nuclear assistance received while party to the Treaty. One state called for the Security Council to automatically consider any notice of NPT withdrawal.
  • Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT)-The vast majority of states called for the early entry into force of the CTBT. One state suggested that such support by the majority of states for the CTBT's entry into force should be recognized in the final document.
  • Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty (FMCT)-Three different views appeared to be expressed regarding the FMCT. Most states called for negotiations on the FMCT to commence in the Conference on Disarmament (CD). Another group of states called for negotiations to begin in the CD without preconditions. On the other hand, other states stressed the need for verification to be apart of such negotiations in accordance with the Shannon mandate.
  • Non-Strategic Nuclear Weapons-Several states called for further reductions in non-strategic nuclear weapons, with some stating the need for the full implementation of the 1991/1992 Presidential Nuclear Initiatives (PNIs).
  • Security Assurances-A key concern of many non-nuclear-weapon states (NNWS) was the lack of legally-binding negative security assurances issued by the nuclear-weapon states (NWS). A large number of NNWS called for the creation of a subsidiary body within the Conference to address the issue of security assurances, a proposal which has faced considerable opposition from most NWS. A subsidiary body to address both disarmament and security assurances, was ultimately created within Main Committee I.
  • Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones (NWFZ)-As the Conference followed on the heels of a conference of NWFZ States Parties held in Mexico the week before, considerable attention was paid to the role of NWFZ in strengthening the nuclear nonproliferation regime. In particular, many delegations welcomed the recent agreement on a Treaty to establish a Central Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone (CANWFZ) and calls continued for the creation of a weapons of mass destruction-free zone in the Middle East.
  • Strengthening the Review Process-One state continued its call for changes in the NPT review process to "overcome the institutional deficit" of the Treaty. The proposals for such changes included the creation of an NPT standing bureau and the convening of annual meetings of States Parties. These propositions received very limited support from other States Parties.


Following the opening plenary statements, including the statements made by 17 NGOs, the delegations spent considerable time discussing the procedural issues for the Conference to adopt an agenda. On Friday of the first week, the President's draft agenda and statement of understanding was blocked by one NNWS on the grounds that the statement did not include the intention of the Conference to "take into account" the "outcomes" of previous conferences. This objection has its roots in the refusal of one NWS to accept reference to the outcome of the 2000 Review Conference, which included the "13 Practical Steps towards nuclear disarmament," a refusal which appeared to have the tacit support of some other NWS.

On 11 May, the 10th day of the Conference, the delegations were able to adopt an agenda through the use of an unconventional tactic to satisfy previous objections by key NAM members. In paragraph 16 of the agenda, which specifies the Conference's review of the operation of the Treaty, an asterisk was added linking both a presidential statement and a NAM statement to this review. According to the presidential statement, "It is understood that the review will be conducted in light of the decisions and the resolution of previous Conferences, and allow for discussion of any issue raised by States Parties." Furthermore, the NAM statement expresses the understanding that, "The agenda establishes a framework for conducting the review of the operation of the Treaty...the decisions and resolutions of previous Conferences, in particular the 1995 Review and Extension Conference and the decision of the 2000 Review Conference...." (Note: At the end of the Conference, additional debate ensued over the agenda and the linkage made by this asterisk. The linkage to the presidential statement remained; however, the linkage to the NAM statement was removed from the draft final document.)

In spite of the adoption of the agenda on 11 May, discussion of procedural issues continued to prevent the substantive issues of the Treaty from being addressed. The States Parties were in disagreement as to what issues would be discussed in the main committees and which were to be addressed in subsidiary bodies. There was particular disagreement over a subsidiary body on negative security assurances as the NAM insisted on a separate subsidiary to discuss this topic while one NWS objected giving the issue such a focus. Therefore, while the debate over the deliberative bodies continued, the President arranged time for the delegations to present their accumulating working papers during plenary sessions. These sessions were then used to present proposals until an agreement was made on 18 May regarding the time which would be allocated to the main committees and subsidiary bodies. The three subsidiary bodies were determined to address nuclear disarmament and security assurances, regional issues and the Middle East, and Treaty withdrawals. It was also decided that Main Committee I would address disarmament and nonproliferation education and Main Committee II would address proposals to strengthen the review process.

While the Conference did not agree on any language drafted in the Main Committees, substantive discussion did commence in the little time that remained. Each of the main committees and their subsidiary bodies considered text prepared by their chairs:

  • Main Committee I (MCI): A number of topics pertaining to nonproliferation were discussed in MCI. In particular, the delegations discussed text regarding the role of the NPT and its three pillars, nuclear sharing for military purposes, the universality of the Treaty, the reaffirmation of the commitments of the States Parties to Articles I and II, the possibility of nuclear weapon proliferation to non-state actors and the role of Security Council Resolution 1540, compliance enforcement, the preference to address proliferation concerns in multilateral negotiations, and nonproliferation and disarmament education. The subsidiary body established under MCI addressed issues such as the principles of irreversibility, transparency, and verification as they apply to nuclear disarmament, the unequivocal undertaking by the NWS to pursue nuclear disarmament, the Moscow Treaty, further reductions in non-strategic nuclear weapons, reducing the role of nuclear weapons in security policies, securing excess fissile material, reporting on the implementation of Article VI, the CTBT, the need to maintain the moratoria on nuclear-testing, and disarmament efforts in the CD (such as the FMCT). Elements were also considered on security assurances, including the possibility of including discussion on a legally-binding instrument on security assurances in the next NPT review period. In spite of significant disputed text in both the MCI and its subsidiary body, the report from MCI was adopted and sent to he president on 25 May. Two Chairman's working papers were integrated into the MCI report with the understanding that they did not reflect the views of all states parties.
  • Main Committee II (MCII): MCII was tasked with discussing the broad topics of safeguards, nuclear-weapon-free zones (NWFZs), strengthening the review process, and included a subsidiary body on regional issues and the implementation of the 1995 Resolution on the Middle East. The Committee therefore addressed the issues of safeguards compliance, the role and authority of the IAEA, the need for states to conclude Comprehensive Safeguards agreements, the proposal to make the Additional Protocol a condition of supply for nuclear materials, the conceptual framework for integrated safeguards, the wider-application of voluntary offer safeguards, the continued use of Small Quantities Protocols, the role of the Global Threat Reduction Initiative in limiting the use of HEU in research reactors, the role of Security Council Resolution 1540 and export controls, concerns regarding illicit nuclear supply networks, combating nuclear terrorism, maintaining standards for the physical protection of nuclear material, supporting existing and future NWFZs, proposals to strengthen the review process, and the participation of civil society. The subsidiary body for MCII also discussed the importance of the 1995 Resolution on the Middle East, the role which a weapons of mass destruction-free zone would play in the Middle East peace process, calls for Israel to accede to the NPT as a NNWS, the adoption of the Additional Protocol in the Middle East, Libya's decision to abandon its weapons of mass destruction and long-range missile programs, the IAEA's investigation into Iran's nuclear program, concerns regarding the DPRK's nuclear-weapon capabilities and the Six-Party Talks, and measures to deal with the nuclear-weapon arsenals of India and Pakistan. The chair of this subsidiary body, Ambassador Nuñez (Spain), reported to MCII that, "there is no consensus on various proposals" and that he would submit his working paper under his won responsibility to the Committee with the understanding that there was no agreement on any part of the text. When MCII sought to reach agreement on its report, Committee Chairman Molnar provided two options: to adopt the Chair's paper as a draft for further consultation while acknowledging that some elements did not enjoy consensus, or not including the paper in the MCII report to the Conference. Support for these options was characterized by a deep division falling largely along the lines of the political groupings, with one many members group favoring the inclusion of the chair's paper and key members of another group rejecting such inclusion. A third option to carry out consultations without using the chair's text as a basis was proposed by one state, but received very limited support. While the States Parties attempted to find a way around this impasse, one NWS took the floor to criticize the five Central Asian (C-5) States for failing to take into account the comments expressed by three NWS regarding the negative security assurances Protocol to the draft CANWFZ treaty text, noting a joint demarche issued to the UN Secretary-General regarding this concern. One of the C-5 responded by citing the negotiations that have previously occurred to address such concerns, and suggested that further consultations may take place. The Committee remained in deadlock by the time its time had expired in the evening of 24 May. Committee Chairman Molnar, stated that, "The committee did not reach consensus to attach the Chair's draft to the final report of the Committee and to forward it to the conference for further consideration."
  • Main Committee III (MCIII): MCIII engaged in negotiations over the peaceful use of nuclear energy. In this context, the delegations considered text on reaffirming the inalienable right of states parties to develop and use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes and participate in the fullest possible exchange of nuclear technology, the need for such peaceful activities to conform with Articles I, II, and III of the Treaty, the role of IAEA technical cooperation activities, concerns over the proliferation risks of sensitive fuel cycle activities, the IAEA expert group report on multilateral approaches to the nuclear fuel cycle, the requirement that states suspend nuclear cooperation with states found in violation of their nuclear nonproliferation and safeguards commitments, nuclear safety standards, minimizing the need for HEU for peaceful purposes, and promoting transparency in peaceful nuclear activities. The subsidiary body under MCIII discussed both Articles IX, and X of the Treaty. In regard to Article IX, which is related to the universality of the NPT, the delegations discussed the need for the universality of the Treaty, for universal compliance, and specifically for India, Pakistan and Israel to join as NNWS. The discussion of Article X, which addresses withdrawal from the Treaty, produced preliminary text on the sovereign right of withdrawal from the Treaty, the need for consultations with a state exercising its right of withdrawal, the recognition that a withdrawal from the Treaty may pose a threat to international peace and security-and thereby the role of the Security Council in regard to Treaty withdrawal, the liability of a withdrawing State Party for any violations committed while still party to the Treaty, and the status of nuclear technology, material, and equipment received while party to the Treaty including the resumption of IAEA safeguards. The text from MCIII was blocked from adoption by the disagreement of two states that had played obstructive roles throughout the Conference. At first, one NAM state objected to the text regarding Article X, arguing that the revised text proposed by the chair had not been discussed. In spite of suggestions that the text be annexed to the MCIII report, as agreed in MCI, this state refused to support such a proposal, resulting in the removal of the language on withdrawal. In response, a NWS then objected to the report in its entirety just before the remaining text was to be adopted by the chair.

The Review Conference concluded with a presentation of the procedural reports by the main and drafting committee chairs, and closing remarks by several delegations. Each delegation expressed some degree of disappointment in the Conference's failure to adopt an agreed final document, and most suggested that the issue of nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament continue either within the NPT or in other fora. One Western Group state in particular issued stern rebuke of the failure of the States Parties to pursue solutions to the core challenges facing the Treaty, stating that, "We have let the pursuit of short-term, parochial interests override the collective long-term interest in sustaining this Treaty's authority and integrity." The last statement of the Conference was issued by a NAM state which used the opportunity to harshly critique the policies United States over the last five years. Following this speech, Conference President Duarte brought the Conference to a close by thanking the delegations, the Conference officers, and the Secretariat.

2004 Preparatory Committee for the 2005 Review Conference

The third session of the Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) for the 2005 NPT Review Conference (RevCon) was held in New York from 27 April to 7 May 2004, under the chairmanship of Ambassador Sudjadnan Parnohadinigrat of Indonesia. Ms. Silvana da Silva (Chief, Weapons of Mass Destruction Branch, Department for Disarmament Affairs, United Nations) served as Secretary of the PrepCom.

A total of 123 States Parties registered to attend the meeting. As in the past, representatives from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) also attended the meeting while representatives from specialized agencies and international and regional intergovernmental organizations such as the Agency for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (OPANAL), the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization, the European Commission, the League of Arab States, and the Organization of the Islamic Conference, attended as observers. A total of 69 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) also attended the PrepCom as observers

The PrepCom was tasked by the 2000 Review Conference to make recommendations to the 2005 Review Conference, taking into account the deliberations and results of the two previous sessions. It was also to finalize the organizational arrangements for the Review Conference, including the endorsement of a candidate for the presidency of the Review Conference, agreement on the Rules of Procedure, and agreement on the agenda and the program of work for the Review Conference. These tasks included the possible establishment of subsidiary bodies to the Conference's Main Committees. It was furthermore tasked by the 2000 Review Conference to make recommendations on legally binding security assurances to the Review Conference.
Thirty meetings were devoted to the substantive discussions of the Committee. Each discussion was structured according to indicative timetables that took into consideration three clusters of issues and three specific blocs of issues. The clusters included: (a) nonproliferation of nuclear weapons, disarmament, and international peace and security; (b) nonproliferation of nuclear weapons, safeguards, and nuclear-weapon-free zones; and (c) the inalienable right of all States Parties to the Treaty to develop, research, produce and use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, without discrimination and in conformity with articles I and II. Prior to the cluster debate discussions, the Chairman announced that time would be allocated for discussions on security assurances and the issue of the 1995 Middle East resolution.

Discussion on the status of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) was again circumvented when the Chairman announced that, based on his consultations with various States Parties, there would be no open debate on the issue and that the Secretariat would hold the nameplate of the DPRK temporarily as it did during the second PrepCom session.

More than 40 general statements from States or groups of States such as the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), the European Union, the New Agenda Coalition, and the League of Arab States were delivered. Significant differences emerged from the very beginning between those who saw the Treaty's obligations primarily in terms of articles I and II and wanted to focus on the noncompliance of a handful of States such as Iran, North Korea, and Libya, and those for whom the nuclear weapons States' failure to make sufficient progress towards complying with article VI was more important. This pattern continued through the cluster debates where the United States mostly focused on its concerns about Iran's failure to comply with its nonproliferation obligations. Other States Parties devoted considerable attention to the 13 "practical steps," especially the CTBT, tactical nuclear weapons, nuclear doctrines and policies, and verification. Other significant issues that were raised included: proposals for addressing the NPT's lack of institutional decision-making powers; reporting and accountability; negative security assurances; the need to make the IAEA Additional Protocol (INFCIRC/540) into a mandatory safeguards requirement under article III; nuclear safety and security; disarmament education; civil society participation and access for NGOs; and the relationship between the NPT-based nonproliferation regime and initiatives such as the Proliferation Security Initiative and those contained in UNSC Resolution 1540, which the Security Council adopted while the PrepCom was in session.
Prior to the start of the PrepCom, the Chairman's consultations showed that, given the time limitations (only two weeks), negotiating substantive recommendations to the Review Conference would in all likelihood fail. The Chairman received the mandate from the meeting to prepare a summary (on his own responsibility) of the proposals made at the meeting, taking into account the PrepCom's prior sessions. The paper, introduced late during the second week was, however, criticized by several delegations, in particular those from the United States, the Russian Federation, and Iran, who wanted to defend themselves or who felt their positions had not been adequately represented. As a result, the paper could not be attached to the final report of the PrepCom as was the case with the summaries prepared by the Chairmen of the prior PrepCom sessions. The paper was instead recognized as a working paper (NPT/CONF.2005/PC.III/WP.27) by the Chairman (as were all other papers submitted by national delegations).

The meeting ended on 7 May with the delegations unable to agree on most issues, including on the agenda or background documentation for the Review Conference. This was due, mainly, to disagreement between the United States and France on the one side, and the NAM supported by many other States on the other, on whether to recognize the outcome of the 2000 Review Conference in the agenda for the 2005 Review Conference. The main area of divergence arose over the continued relevance of the "13 practical steps" on nuclear disarmament agreed to at the 2000 Review Conference. Other related controversies included disagreement on how to deal with the issue of negative security assurances, and whether to establish subsidiary bodies to the Main Committees of the Review Conference.

The only significant decision taken by the PrepCom was to endorse the candidacy of Ambassador Sergio Duarte (from Brazil) as President-Elect for the Review Conference. This decision was primarily motivated by the realization that without such endorsement, the President-Elect would not be able to consult with delegations on the many outstanding organizational and substantive issues that need to be resolved before the Conference can start its work. The PrepCom confirmed that the Conference will be held in New York from 2 to 20 May 2005, and agreed on the draft rules of procedure, to endorse the chairpersons of the three Main Committees of the Review Conference, the appointment of the Secretary-General (Ms. Da Silva from DDA), and the financing of the Review Conference, including its Preparatory Committee. The final report of the PrepCom is contained in NPT/CONF.2005/1.

2003 Preparatory Committee for the 2005 Review Conference

The second session of the Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) for the 2005 NPT Review Conference (RevCon) was held in Geneva from 28 April to 9 May 2003, under the chairmanship of Ambassador László Molnár of Hungary. This PrepCom was the second of three sessions that are to be held prior to the 2005 RevCon. As decided at the 2000 RevCon, the Second PrepCom session carried out the first phase of the "new" strengthened review process. Under the new process, the first two sessions (2002 and 2003) considered "principles, objectives and ways in order to promote the full implementation of the Treaty, as well as its universality." The third PrepCom (held in New York from 26 April to 7 May 2004) was required to make recommendations to the 2005 RevCon, taking into account the deliberations and results of the two previous sessions.

One hundred and six States Parties as well as representatives from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) participated in the PrepCom, while representatives from the Agency for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (OPANAL), the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization, the European Commission, the League of Arab States, and the Organization of the Islamic Conference attended as observers. Representatives from 37 non-governmental organizations attended the plenary meeting of the PrepCom. Ms. Silvana da Silva (Chief, Weapons of Mass Destruction Branch, Department for Disarmament Affairs, United Nations) served as Secretary of the PrepCom.

Although the generally held view among State Parties was that North Korea's withdrawal came into effect on 10 April 2003, when its three-month notice of withdrawal expired, some uncertainty existed over North Korea's status at the PrepCom. On 10 January 2003, the DPRK announced that its withdrawal "will come into force automatically and immediately" on the next day, claiming that it had suspended its 1994 withdrawal from the Treaty on the last day of the required three-month notice period and thus did not need to give additional notice to other NPT Parties and the Security Council as required under Article X of the Treaty. Given that this uncertainty could have led to a procedural and potentially divisive debate at the start of the PrepCom meeting, the Chairman announced that he would take custody of the DPRK's nameplate and that it would not be displayed among those of the States Parties, but that it would remain in the conference room. No decision was, however, taken by the State Parties as to the status of North Korea vis-à-vis the Treaty.

As was the case in 2002, the PrepCom discussions were structured according to an indicative timetable that provided equal time for the consideration of three clusters of issues and three specific blocks of issues (details on these clusters and blocks of issues are provided under developments at the 2002 PrepCom — see below). As was done at the 2002 PrepCom, the Chairman prepared a Chairman's factual summary of the Committee's consideration of the issues, which was contained in Annex II to the 2003 PrepCom report. This document comprises 43 paragraphs of text capturing the Chairman's factual distillation of the views expressed by States Parties on a number of substantive matters, including North Korea's withdrawal and non-compliance; allegations of Iranian non-compliance; nuclear disarmament and the implementation of the 13 "practical steps" toward the elimination of nuclear arsenals; non-strategic nuclear weapons; security assurances; the situation in the Middle East; utilizing the strengthened review process through regular reporting; disarmament and nonproliferation education; the role of the IAEA and its safeguards system; nonproliferation export controls; peaceful uses of nuclear energy; nuclear safety; the threat of nuclear terrorism; and further strengthening of the review process. The Chairman's initiative to invite delegations to offer specific text proposals provided him with a good basis to formulate language that accommodated most views. He furthermore consulted with various key delegations on specific paragraphs of his summary with the result that it was to some extent negotiated.

2002 Preparatory Committee for 2005 Review Conference

The first session of the PrepCom for the 2005 NPT Review Conference was attended by 140 of the then 187 States Parties. Cuba (a non-State Party at the time), seven intergovernmental organizations, and 62 non-governmental organizations attended the open meetings of the PrepCom. Ms. Hannelore Hoppe (Chief, Weapons of Mass Destruction Branch, Department for Disarmament Affairs, United Nations) served as Secretary of the PrepCom. Among the procedural decisions taken, it was decided that the second session of the PrepCom would be held in Geneva from 28 April to 9 May 2003; the third session would be held in New York from 26 April to 7 May 2004; and the provisional dates for the Review Conference in New York would be 2 May to 27 May 2005. Ambassador László Molnar (Permanent Representative of Hungary to the United Nations), representing the Group of East European States, was unanimously selected as the Chairman of the 2003 PrepCom. The Chairman of the third session and the President of the 2005 Review Conference would be nominated by the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) States.

Following two days of general debate comprising opening statements, the PrepCom held a total of 11 meetings for substantive discussion. The substantive discussion was structured according to a timetable, which provided equal time for the consideration of three clusters of issues and three specific blocks of issues. The PrepCom considered the following three clusters of issues as contained in Annex VIII of the final report of the Preparatory Committee to the 2000 Review Conference: (1) implementation of the provisions of the Treaty relating to nonproliferation of nuclear weapons, disarmament, and international peace and security; (2) implementation of the provisions of the Treaty relating to safeguards, and nuclear-weapon-free zones; and (3) implementation of the provisions of the Treaty relating to the inalienable right of all Parties to the Treaty to develop research, production, and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, without discrimination and in conformity with Articles I and II.

The PrepCom considered the following three specific blocs of issues: (1) implementation of article VI of the NPT and paragraphs 3 and 4 (c) of the 1995 Decision on "Principles and Objectives for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament," as well as the agreements, conclusions, and commitments listed under the section entitled "Article VI and eighth to twelfth preambular paragraphs" contained in the Final Document of the 2000 NPT Review Conference; (2) regional issues, including with respect to the Middle East, the implementation of the 1995 Middle East resolution and the commitments, conclusions, and follow-up submissions to the United Nations Secretary-General, the President of the 2005 Review Conference, and the Chairpersons of the Preparatory Committee meetings, in accordance with the relevant subparagraphs listed under the section entitled "Regional issues: The Middle East, particularly implementation of the 1995 Resolution on the Middle East," contained in the Final Document of the 2000 Review Conference; and (3) safety and security of peaceful nuclear programs.

The Chairman prepared a factual summary of the Committee's consideration of the issues, which was contained in Annex II to the report of the 2002 PrepCom. Ambassador Salander produced the Chairman's factual summary under his own responsibility, and its content was not open for negotiation or change. This document comprises 37 paragraphs of text capturing the Chairman's factual distillation of the views expressed by States Parties on a number of substantive matters, including nuclear nonproliferation, nuclear disarmament, safeguards, export controls, nuclear-weapon-free zones, regional issues (DPRK, Iraq, South Asia, and the Middle East), strengthened physical protection of nuclear material, and reporting.

2000 Review Conference

The 2000 NPT Review Conference was convened at United Nations Headquarters from 24 April to 19 May 2000, with 157 of 187 States Parties participating. One non-State party, Cuba attended as an observer. Palestine was also granted observer status; 141 research institutes and non-governmental organizations attended as observers.

The bureau of the Review Conference comprised inter alia: President Abdallah Baali (Algeria) and Secretary-General Hannelore Hoppe (Chief, WMD Branch, UN Department for Disarmament Affairs).

The 33 Vice-Presidents were Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Cameroon, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Ecuador, France, Germany, Ghana, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Latvia, Lithuania, Mexico, Myanmar, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Peru, Romania, Senegal, South Africa, Ukraine, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Uzbekistan, and Viet Nam.

Main Committee I: Chairman Camilo Reyes (Colombia); Vice-Chairmen: Jean Lint (Belgium) and Vadim Reznikov (Belarus); Subsidiary Body 1: Clive Pearson (New Zealand).

Main Committee II: Chairman Adam Kobieracki (Poland), Vice-Chairmen: Suh Dae-won (Republic of Korea) and Yaw Odei Osei (Ghana); Subsidiary Body 2: Christopher Westdal (Canada). Main Committee III: Chairman Markku Reimaa (Finland); Vice-Chairmen: Igor Dzundev (the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) and Hamid Baidi Nejad (Islamic Republic of Iran). Drafting Committee: Chairman André Erdös (Hungary); Vice-Chairmen: Fayza Aboulnaga (Egypt) and Pedro Villagra-Delgado (Argentina); and Credentials Committee: Chairman Makmur Widodo (Indonesia); Vice-Chairmen: Ion Botnaru (Moldova) and Wernfried Köffler (Austria). The Conference appointed representatives from the following States parties as members of the Credentials Committee: Chile, Greece, Morocco, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Switzerland.

The 2000 Review Conference held 16 plenary meetings together with several sessions of informal consultations. On 19 May, the Conference adopted a Final Document by consensus.

Nuclear Disarmament: The Conference agreed on the following practical steps for the systematic and progressive efforts to implement Article VI of the NPT and Paragraphs 3 and 4(c) of the 1995 Decision on "Principles and Objectives for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament": (1) the importance and urgency of signatures and ratifications, without delay and without conditions and in accordance with constitutional processes, to achieve the early entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT); (2) a moratorium on nuclear-weapon-test explosions or any other nuclear explosions pending entry into force of the CTBT; (3) the necessity of negotiations in the Conference on Disarmament (CD) on a non-discriminatory, multilateral, and internationally and effectively verifiable treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices in accordance with the statement of the Special Coordinator in 1995 and the mandate contained therein, taking into consideration both nuclear disarmament and nuclear nonproliferation objectives; the CD is urged to agree on a program of work which includes the immediate commencement of negotiations on such a treaty with a view to its conclusion within five years; (4) the necessity of establishing in the CD an appropriate subsidiary body with a mandate to deal with nuclear disarmament; the CD is urged to agree on a program of work which includes the immediate establishment of such a body; (5) the principle of irreversibility to apply to nuclear disarmament, nuclear and other related arms control and reduction measures; (6) an unequivocal undertaking by the NWS to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals leading to nuclear disarmament to which all States Parties are committed under Article VI; (7) the reaffirmation that the ultimate objective of the efforts of States in the disarmament process is general and complete disarmament under effective international control; (8) regular reports, within the framework of the NPT strengthened review process, by all States Parties on the implementation of Article VI and Paragraph 4 (c) of the 1995 Decision on "Principles and Objectives for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament," and recalling the Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice of 8 July 1996; and (9) the further development of the verification capabilities that will be required to provide assurance of compliance with nuclear disarmament agreements for the achievement and maintenance of a nuclear-weapon-free world.

In the Conference's review of Article VI, the NWS agreed to the following steps toward nuclear disarmament in a way that promotes international stability and the principle of undiminished security for all:

  • further efforts by the NWS to reduce their nuclear arsenals unilaterally;
  • increased transparency with regard to nuclear weapons capabilities and the implementation of agreements;
  • the further reduction of non-strategic nuclear weapons, based on unilateral initiatives and as an integral part of the nuclear arms reduction and disarmament process;
  • concrete agreed measures to further reduce the operational status of nuclear weapons systems;
  • a diminishing role for nuclear weapons in security policies; and
  • the engagement as soon as appropriate of all the NWS in the process leading to the total elimination of their nuclear weapons.

Safeguards: The Conference reaffirmed the fundamental importance of full compliance with the provisions of the Treaty and the relevant safeguards agreements. The Conference reaffirmed that the IAEA is the competent authority responsible for verifying and assuring, in accordance with the Statute of the IAEA and the IAEA safeguards system, compliance with its safeguards agreements with States Parties undertaken in fulfillment of their obligations under Article III, Paragraph 1, of the Treaty, with a view to preventing diversion of nuclear energy from peaceful uses to nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices. The Conference emphasized that nothing should be done to undermine the authority of IAEA in this regard. States Parties that have concerns regarding non-compliance with the safeguards agreements of the Treaty by the States Parties should direct such concerns, along with supporting evidence and information, to the IAEA to consider, investigate, draw conclusions, and decide on necessary actions in accordance with its mandate.

The Conference considered that IAEA safeguards provide assurance that States are complying with their undertakings under relevant safeguards agreements and assist States to demonstrate this compliance. It stressed that the nonproliferation and safeguards commitments in the Treaty are also essential for peaceful nuclear commerce and cooperation and that IAEA safeguards make a vital contribution to the environment for peaceful nuclear development and international cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. The Conference stressed that comprehensive safeguards and additional protocols should be universally applied once the complete elimination of nuclear weapons has been achieved. The Conference reiterated the call by previous conferences of the States Parties for the application of IAEA safeguards to all source or special fissionable material in all peaceful nuclear activities in the States Parties in accordance with the provisions of Article III of the Treaty. The Conference noted with satisfaction that, since 1995, 28 States have concluded safeguards agreements with the IAEA in compliance with Article III, Paragraph 4, of the Treaty, 25 of which have brought the agreements into force.

The Conference reaffirmed that IAEA safeguards should regularly be assessed and evaluated. Decisions adopted by the IAEA Board of Governors aimed at further strengthening the effectiveness and improving the efficiency of IAEA safeguards should be supported and implemented. It also reaffirmed that the implementation of comprehensive safeguards agreements pursuant to Article III, Paragraph 1, of the Treaty should be designed to provide for verification by the IAEA of the correctness and completeness of a State's declaration so that there is a credible assurance of the non-diversion of nuclear material from declared activities and of the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities. The Conference also fully endorsed the measures contained in the Model Protocol Additional to the Agreement(s) between State(s) and the International Atomic Energy Agency for the Application of Safeguards (INFCIRC/540 (Corrected)), which was approved by the IAEA Board of Governors in May 1997. The safeguards-strengthening measures contained in the Model Additional Protocol will provide the IAEA with, inter alia, enhanced information about a State's nuclear activities and complementary access to locations within a State.

The Conference recognized that comprehensive safeguards agreements based on document INFCIRC/153 have been successful in providing assurance regarding declared nuclear material and have also provided a limited level of assurance regarding the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities. The Conference noted that implementation of the measures specified in the Model Additional Protocol will provide, in an effective and efficient manner, increased confidence about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in a State as a whole and that those measures are now being introduced as an integral part of the IAEA's safeguards system.

The Conference noted, in particular, the relationship between the additional protocol and the safeguards agreement between the IAEA and a State Party as set out in Article I of the Model Additional Protocol. In this regard, it recalled the interpretation provided by the IAEA Secretariat on 31 January 1997 and set out in document GOV/2914 of 10 April 1997 that, once concluded, the two agreements had to be read and interpreted as one agreement.

The Conference noted the high priority that the IAEA attaches, in the context of furthering the development of the strengthened safeguards system, to integrating traditional nuclear-material verification activities with the new strengthening measures and looked forward to an expeditious conclusion of this work. It recognized that the aim of these efforts is to optimize the combination of all safeguards measures available to the IAEA in order to meet the Agency's safeguards objectives with maximum effectiveness and efficiency within available resources.

Furthermore, the Conference noted that credible assurance of the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities, notably those related to enrichment and reprocessing, in a State as a whole could permit a corresponding reduction in the level of traditional verification efforts with respect to declared nuclear material in that State, which is less sensitive from the point of view of nonproliferation.

The Conference recognized that measures to strengthen the effectiveness and improve the efficiency of the safeguards system with a view to providing credible assurance of the non-diversion of nuclear material from declared activities and of the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities must be implemented by all States Parties to the NPT, including the NWS.

Middle East: The States Parties also reaffirmed the Resolution on the Middle East, adopted by the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference, and in its review of its implementation:

  • The Parties called on Israel by name to accede to the Treaty for the first time in the NPT's history, as it is the only state in the region not to have done so. The Conference recalled that operative Paragraph 4 of the 1995 Resolution on the Middle East "calls upon all States in the Middle East that have not yet done so, without exception, to accede to the Treaty as soon as possible and to place their nuclear facilities under full-scope International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards." The Conference noted, in this connection, that the report of the United Nations Secretariat on the Implementation of the 1995 Resolution on the Middle East (NPT/CONF.2000/7) states that several States have acceded to the Treaty and that, "with these accessions, all States of the region of the Middle East, with the exception of Israel, are States Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. The Conference welcomed the accession of these States and reaffirms the importance of Israel's accession to the NPT and the placement of all its nuclear facilities under comprehensive IAEA safeguards, in realizing the goal of universal adherence to the Treaty in the Middle East."
  • All States Parties, particularly the NWS and the States of the Middle East, are to report on the steps that they have taken to promote the achievement of "a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons as well as other weapons of mass destruction" at the 2005 Review Conference.
  • Bearing in mind the importance of full compliance with the NPT, the Conference noted the statement of 24 April 2000 by the IAEA Director-General that, since the cessation of IAEA inspections in Iraq on 16 December 1998, the Agency has not been in a position to provide any assurance of Iraq's compliance with its obligations under UN Security Council Resolution 687. The Conference further noted that the IAEA carried out an inspection in January 2000 pursuant to Iraq's safeguards agreement with the IAEA during which the inspectors were able to verify the presence of the nuclear material subject to safeguards (low enriched, natural, and depleted uranium). The Conference reaffirmed the importance of Iraq's full continuous cooperation with the IAEA and compliance with its obligations.

South Asia: The Conference deplored the nuclear test explosions carried out by India and then by Pakistan in 1998. The Conference declared that such actions do not in any way confer NWS status or any special status whatsoever. It also called on India and Pakistan to abide by Resolution 1172 (1998) and to implement a series of confidence-building measures, including moratoria on further testing and fissile material production for weapons. Furthermore, the Conference called upon all States Parties to refrain from any action that may contravene or undermine the objectives of UNSCR 1172. The Conference noted that India and Pakistan have declared moratoriums on further nuclear testing and their willingness to sign and ratify the CTBT, and it urged them to accede to the NPT as NNWS, and to place all their nuclear facilities under comprehensive IAEA safeguards. The Conference urged both countries to observe a moratorium on the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons, pending the conclusion of a treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear explosives.

DPRK: The Conference noted with concern that, while the Democratic People's Republic of Korea remained a Party to the NPT, the IAEA continued to be unable to verify the correctness and completeness of the initial declaration of nuclear material made by the DPRK and was therefore unable to conclude that there had been no diversion of nuclear material in the DPRK. The Conference looked forward to the fulfillment by the DPRK of its stated intention to come into full compliance with its safeguards agreement with the IAEA, which remains binding and in force. The Conference emphasized the importance of action by the DPRK to preserve and make available to the IAEA all information needed to verify its initial inventory.

Universality: The Conference reaffirmed the long-held commitment of parties to the Treaty to universal membership and noted that this goal had been advanced by the accession to the Treaty of several new States since the 1995 Review and Extension Conference (NPTREC), thereby bringing its membership to 187 States Parties. The Conference reaffirmed the importance of the Treaty in establishing a norm of international behavior in the nuclear field. The Conference called on those remaining States not parties to the Treaty to accede to it, thereby accepting an international legally binding commitment not to acquire nuclear weapons or nuclear explosive devices and to accept IAEA safeguards on all their nuclear activities. These States are Cuba, India, Israel, and Pakistan. In this context, the Conference welcomed the signature by Cuba of the protocol additional to its safeguards agreements with the IAEA. The Conference particularly urged those non-parties to the Treaty that operate unsafeguarded nuclear facilities — India, Israel, and Pakistan — to take similar action, and affirmed the important contribution this would make to regional and global security.

Strengthened Review Process: The States Parties also agreed to measures to improve the effectiveness of the strengthened review process as follows:

  • Three sessions of the PrepCom, normally for a duration of 10 working days each, should be held in the years prior to the review conference. A fourth session, would, if necessary, be held in the year of the review conference.
  • Specific time should be allocated at sessions of the Preparatory Committee to address "specific relevant issues." Subsidiary bodies for this purpose can also be established at Review Conferences.
  • The first two sessions of the PrepCom would "consider principles, objectives and ways in order to promote the full implementation of the Treaty, as well as its universality."
  • Each session of the PrepCom should consider specific matters of substance relating to the implementation of the Treaty and NPTREC Decisions 1 and 2, as well as the Resolution on the Middle East adopted in 1995, and the outcomes of subsequent Review Conferences, including developments affecting the operation and purpose of the Treaty.
  • The Chairpersons of the PrepComs will carry out consultations in preparation for the subsequent meeting.
  • The PrepComs are to factually summarize their results and transmit them to the next meeting. The last PrepCom meeting before the Review Conference, should make every effort to produce a consensus report containing recommendations to the Review Conference and should decide on its procedural arrangements.
  • A meeting should be allocated to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to address each session of the PrepCom and the Review Conference.

In addition, the final document contained well over one hundred paragraphs dealing with other aspects of the Treaty, such as strengthened safeguards, compliance, the authority of the IAEA in implementing safeguards and technical assistance cooperation, effective physical protection of all nuclear material, the highest possible standards of nuclear safety, efficacy of and transparency in export controls, the safe transport of radioactive materials, radiological protection and radioactive waste management, conversion of military nuclear materials to peaceful uses, nuclear-weapon-free zones, non-recognition of any new NWS, and universal adherence to the Treaty.

Other significant developments at the 2000 Review Conference included:

Joint NWS Statement: A joint statement was issued by the five NWS on May 1. The 23-paragraph document covered nuclear disarmament, nonproliferation, nuclear-weapon-free zones, nuclear energy, and safeguards. The statement referred to their "unequivocal commitment" to fulfilling their NPT obligations and to the ultimate goals of a complete elimination of nuclear weapons and general and complete disarmament. The statement also noted that none of the NWS targets nuclear weapons at any other state. It reiterated their view that, in accordance with the Treaty, India and Pakistan do not have the status of NWS, and stressed that the two countries should implement UN Security Council Resolution 1172. The NWS statement also called for the preservation and strengthening of the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty as a cornerstone of strategic stability and as a basis for further strategic offensive reductions. Furthermore, the statement referred to negotiation of a fissile material cutoff treaty (FMCT), but placed it in the context of an agreed work program for the CD.

New Agenda Coalition: Among the NNWS, the New Agenda Coalition (NAC)—a grouping of states that cuts across traditional regional associations and includes Brazil, Egypt, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa, and Sweden—played a dominant role in putting forth disarmament proposals and in directly negotiating the text on disarmament with the NWS. The coalition proposed identifying "areas in which" and "means through which" future progress should be sought on nuclear disarmament. A key demand of the coalition was for the NWS to "make an unequivocal undertaking" to totally eliminate their nuclear arsenals and to "engage in an accelerated process of negotiations" during the upcoming 2000-2005 review period. In addition, the coalition called for early and interim steps, including adaptation of nuclear postures to preclude the use of nuclear weapons; dealerting and removal of warheads from delivery vehicles; reductions in tactical nuclear weapons leading to their elimination; greater transparency with regard to nuclear arsenals and fissile material inventories; and irreversibility in removing excess fissile material from weapons programs and in all nuclear disarmament, nuclear arms reduction, and nuclear arms control measures. They also promoted an appropriate subsidiary body in the CD with a mandate to deal with nuclear disarmament and the rapid negotiation and conclusion of legally binding security assurances for NNWS party to the Treaty. See the Final Document.


Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) 1997-1999

The 1999 PrepCom took place from 10-21 May in New York. It was chaired by Ambassador Camilo Reyes-Rodriguez of Columbia and was attended by 119 States Parties. Israel and Cuba attended as observers, as well as more than 60 NGOs. In addition to discussing the implementation of 1995 Principles and Objectives, the PrepCom also considered proposals concerning the expected outcome of the Review Conference. The Committee reached agreement on the provisional agenda for the Review Conference, the allocation of items to the three main committees, the office bearers of the Conference, the draft rules of procedure for the Conference, as well as the estimated costs of the Conference and the schedule of the division of costs.

The 1998 session of the PrepCom took place from 27 April to 8 May in Geneva and was chaired by Ambassador Eugeniusz Wyzner (Poland). The session was attended by 97 countries, two observers (Brazil and Israel), and 76 NGOs. The Committee continued the process of reviewing the operation of the Treaty, taking into account the decisions and the Resolution on the Middle East adopted at the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference. Specific time was also allocated for discussions on three issues: security assurances for parties to the NPT; the resolution on the Middle East; and a non-discriminatory and universally applicable convention banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices (FMCT).

The first session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2000 NPT Review Conference was held at UN headquarters in New York from 7-18 April 1997. The PrepCom was attended by 149 countries under the chairmanship of Ambassador Pasi Patokallio (Finland). Brazil, Cuba, Israel, and Pakistan participated as observers. One hundred and thirteen NGOs also attended. The Chairman issued a statement recommending that time be allocated at the second session for discussion and consideration of proposals concerning security assurances, the Resolution on the Middle East, and an FMCT.

The 1995 Review and Extension Conference (NPTREC)

The Review and Extension Conference was convened at United Nations Headquarters from 17 April to 12 May 1995, with 175 of the then 179 States Parties taking part. Ten States not parties attended as observers, as did 195 NGOs. The bureau of the NPTREC comprised President Jayantha Dhanapala (Sri Lanka); Secretary-General Prvoslav Davinic (Director of the UN Center for Disarmament Affairs); 33 Vice-Presidents (Algeria, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belarus, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, China, Congo, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Malaysia, Mali, Mexico, Norway, Peru, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovakia, South Africa, Sweden, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, United States, and Venezuela); Main Committee I: Chairman Isaac Ayewah (Nigeria), Vice-Chairmen: Richard Starr (Australia) and Anatoli Zlenko (Ukraine); Main Committee II: Chairman André Erdös (Hungary); Vice-Chairmen: Enrique de la Torre (Argentina), Rajab Sukayri (Jordan); Main Committee III: Chairman Jaap Ramaker (Netherlands); Vice-Chairmen: Yanko Yanes (Bulgaria), Gustavo Alvarez Goyoaga (Uruguay); Drafting Committee: Chairman Tadeusz Strulak (Poland); Vice-Chairmen: Nabil Fahmy (Egypt) and Pasi Patokakallio (Finland); and Credentials Committee: Chairman Andelfo Garcia (Colombia); Vice-Chairmen: Alyksandr Sychou (Belarus) and Mary Elizabeth Hoinkes (United States).

The 1995 NPTREC held 19 plenary meetings together with several sessions of the informal "President's Consultations." On 11 May, the Conference adopted without a vote a package of three decisions, comprising Decision 1 (NPT/CONF.1995/L.4) on "Strengthening the Review Process for the Treaty"; Decision 2 (NPT/CONF.1995/L.5) on "Principles and Objectives for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament"; and Decision 3 (NPT/CONF.1995/L.6) on "Extension of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons." The Conference decided thereby "that, as a majority exists among States party to the Treaty for its indefinite extension, in accordance with Article X, Paragraph 2, the Treaty shall continue in force indefinitely." The NPTREC also adopted draft resolution (NPT/CONF.1995/L.8) on the Middle East, as orally amended, without a vote, as Resolution 1, sponsored by the three NPT depositary States.

Decision 1 on a strengthened review process for the Treaty (largely based on Canadian and South African suggestions) specified that:

  • Review Conferences should continue to be held every five years and that the next such conference should be held in the year 2000;
  • beginning in 1997, the PrepCom should meet for 10 working days, in each of the three years prior to the Review Conference, and if necessary, a fourth PrepCom may be held in the year of the Review Conference;
  • the purpose of the PrepCom would be to consider principles, objectives, and ways in order to promote the full implementation of the Treaty, as well as its universality, including those identified in Decision 2, and to make recommendations thereon to the Review Conference, as well as making procedural preparations;
  • the present structure of the three Main Committees should continue and the question of overlap of issues being discussed in more than one Committee should be resolved in the General Committee;
  • subsidiary bodies could be established within the respective Main Committees; and
  • Review Conferences should look forward as well as back, identify areas for further progress in the strengthened implementation of the Treaty.

Decision 2 on principles and objectives for nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament covered seven substantive areas to promote the full realization and effective implementation of the Treaty that included inter alia:

  • furthering universal adherence to the Treaty;
  • promoting nuclear nonproliferation without hampering the peaceful uses of nuclear energy;
  • pursuing nuclear disarmament, in particular a "programme of action" on: (i) completion by the CD of a universal and internationally and effectively verifiable CTBT no later than 1996, and pending the entry into force of a CTBT the NWS should exercise utmost restraint; (ii) immediate commencement and early conclusion of a non-discriminatory and universally applicable FMCT; and (iii) determined pursuit by the NWS of systematic and progressive efforts to reduce nuclear weapons globally, with the ultimate goal of eliminating those weapons, and by all states of general and complete disarmament;
  • endorsing the establishment of internationally recognized NWFZs, on the basis of arrangements freely arrived at, as enhancing global and regional security, especially in regions of conflict such as in the Middle East;
  • noting the security assurances under UNSC Res. 984, and calling for an internationally and legally binding instrument on such assurances;
  • requiring full-scope safeguards and internationally legally binding commitments not to acquire nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices as a necessary precondition for new supply arrangements for nuclear materials and technology; and
  • promoting peaceful uses of nuclear energy in conformity with Articles I, II, and III of the NPT, and promoting transparency in nuclear- related export controls.

On the basis of a draft resolution on indefinite extension co-sponsored by Canada and 103 other cosponsors, as well as Decisions 1 and 2, the NPTREC in Decision 3 agreed without a vote that "as a majority exists among States party to the Treaty for its indefinite extension, in accordance with Article X, Paragraph the Treaty shall continue in force indefinitely."

In the Resolution on the Middle East, cosponsored by the three NPT depositary States to secure the concurrence of the Arab States Parties to indefinite extension, the Conference inter alia:

  • endorsed the Middle East peace process and recognized its contribution to a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons as well as other weapons of mass destruction;
  • noted with concern the continued existence in the Middle East of unsafeguarded nuclear facilities and called upon all States with unsafeguarded facilities to place them under full-scope IAEA safeguards;
  • called upon all States of the Middle East that have not yet done so to accede to the Treaty as soon as possible and to place their nuclear facilities under full-scope IAEA safeguards;
  • called upon all States in the Middle East to take practical steps in appropriate forums aimed at making progress towards, inter alia, the establishment of an effectively verifiable Middle East zone free of weapons of mass destruction, and their delivery systems, and to refrain from taking any measures that preclude the achievement of this objective; and
  • called upon all States Parties to the NPT, and in particular the NWS, to extend their cooperation and to exert their utmost efforts with a view to ensuring the early establishment by regional parties of a Middle East zone free of nuclear and all other weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems.

The UN Department for Disarmament Affairs maintains a website with resources on the NPT meetings.

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This material is produced independently for NTI by the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of and has not been independently verified by NTI or its directors, officers, employees, or agents.

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