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Reflections on the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons

Publisher: SIPRI
April, 2017

The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), consisting of a brief eleven articles covering five pages, is the world’s pre-eminent multilaterally negotiated nuclear arms control treaty. Except for the United Nations Charter, the NPT has the largest number of states parties—India, Israel and Pakistan continue to defy the international nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament norms established through consensus by refusing to accede to the Treaty, and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) is the sole instance of a state party withdrawing from the NPT (in January 2003).

In light of recent negative developments and an increasing loss of institutional memory in foreign ministries and research institutes on the workings of the NPT review process—including the proceedings and outcomes of key review conferences in 1995, 2000 and 2010—the two authors believe that this compendium of essays could provide useful insights to the new generation of diplomats and researchers on how the Treaty and its review process have evolved through the previous two decades. It is also hoped that they may help promote more productive and harmonious conduct during the preparations for the 2020 review conference.



Introduction, Jayantha Dhanapala and Tariq Rauf

Part 1

Multilateral diplomacy and the NPT: An insider’s account, Jayantha Dhanapala with Randy Rydell

Part 2

Planning for the 2010 NPT Review Conference: A practitioner’s overview, Jayantha Dhanapala

Part 3

Evaluating the 2010 NPT Review Conference, Jayantha Dhanapala

Part 4

Assessing the 2015 NPT Review Conference, Tariq Rauf

Part 5 

Preparing for the 2017 NPT Preparatory Committee Session:  The enhanced strengthened review process, Tariq Rauf 

Part 6 

The 2020 NPT Review Conference: A guide to procedural matters, Tariq Rauf

Conclusions: The Future of the NPT, Tariq Rauf and Jayantha Dhanapala


Annex A. Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons

Annex B. ‘The Package’—Key Documents of the 1995 NPTREC 

Annex C. 2000 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the 253 Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Final Document: Improving the effectiveness of the strengthened review process for the Treaty


Jayantha Dhanapala was a Distinguished Associate Fellow with the Disarmament, Arms Control and Non-Proliferation Programme.
Tariq Rauf is the Director of the Disarmament, Arms Control and Non-Proliferation Programme.