The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty: Where Do We Stand? What's Next?
The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) is vital to world security. It has near universal membership. It is the only treaty requiring the nuclear-weapon states to negotiate on nuclear disarmament. It is the cornerstone of the nuclear non-proliferation regime. Yet it faces great challenges ahead.
Disarmament has been very slow - over 20,000 nuclear weapons remain, modernization programmes are underway, and nuclear deterrence is still practiced. Some proliferation concerns remain in three regions. Many non-nuclear-weapon states still face obstacles to peaceful uses of nuclear energy, while some non-NPT states have received special benefits.
The world is now exploring how to close the final chapter in the nuclear weapons story - their elimination through a universal, transparent, verifiable, and irreversible treaty, or a framework of binding legal instruments. The NPT Review Conference last May adopted a 64-point Action Plan to achieve the treaty's key goals, and to promote the establishment of a zone free of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East. And the UN will have many important roles to play in all of these areas over the years ahead.
The event is part of the UNU Midday Forum Programme, which offers an intimate and informal platform of discussion to the UN Permanent Missions, the UN Secretariat, UN agencies, academia, NGOs and the private sector to discuss and exchange ideas and experiences on important topics related to the UN.