2000 NPT Review Conference Final Document

Arms Control Today, June 2000 | Go to article overview

2000 NPT Review Conference Final Document


The states party to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) convened April 24 at United Nations headquarters in New York to review the last five years of the treaty's operation and to make recommendations for its continued implementation. On May 22, after a long week of late-night negotiation and diplomatic maneuvering, the parties produced a consensus document, the third such document in the treaty's history. (See p. 22.)

Many observers had predicted disarray, dissension, and even the slim possibility of a conference break-up at this review conference-the first since the treaty was indefinitely extended. Many of the disarmament objectives set out by the parties in 1995, including the negotiation of a fissile material cutoff treaty and further progress in U.S: Russian strategic arms reductions, have not been realized.

The opening of the conference appeared to confirm these worst-case fears. Non-nuclear-weapon states castigated the nuclear-weapon states in general for slow progress toward disarmament and the United States in particular for its failure to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and its potentially destabilizing missile defense plans.

Contrary to predictions, however, the treaty emerged from the conference unscathed, with a document featuring stronger language on nuclear disarmament and universal adherence than had ever been agreed to before. The following are excerpts from the final document, highlighting the key points of agreement and compromise. Subheadings indicate the articles and paragraphs in the NPT to which the text refers.

Review of the operation of the Treaty, taking into account the decisions and the resolution adopted by the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference:

ARTICLE I AND II AND PREAMBULAR PARAGRAPHS 1 TO 3

1. The Conference reaffirms that the full and effective implementation of the Treaty and the regime of non-proliferation in all its aspects has a vital role in promoting international peace and security. The Conference reaffirms that every effort should be made to implement the Treaty in all its aspects and to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons and other nuclear explosive devices, without hampering the peaceful uses of nuclear energy by States Parties to the Treaty. The Conference remains convinced that universal adherence to the Treaty and full compliance of all Parties with its provisions are the best way to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and other nuclear explosive devices.

2. The Conference recalls that the overwhelming majority of States entered into legally binding commitments not to receive, manufacture or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices in the context, inter alia, of the corresponding legally binding commitments by the nuclear-weapon States to nuclear disarmament in accordance with the Treaty.

3. The Conference notes that the nuclear-weapon States reaffirmed their commitment not to transfer to any recipient whatsoever nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, or control over such weapons or explosive devices directly, or indirectly, and not in any way to assist, encourage, or induce any non-nuclear-weapon State to manufacture or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, or control over such weapons or explosive devices.

4. The Conference notes that the non-nuclear-weapon States Parties to the Treaty reaffirmed their commitment not to receive the transfer from any transferor whatsoever of nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices or of control over such weapons or explosive devices directly or indirectly not to manufacture or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, and not to seek or receive any assistance in the manufacture of nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.

5. The Conference reaffirms that the strict observance of the provisions of the Treaty remains central to achieving the shared objectives of preventing, under any circumstances, the further proliferation of nuclear weapons and preserving the Treaty's vital contribution to peace and security. …

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