The NPT and disarmament

Hanson, Marianne (2010) The NPT and disarmament. AIIA Policy Commentary, 21-28.

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Author Hanson, Marianne
Title The NPT and disarmament
Journal name AIIA Policy Commentary
ISSN 1838-5850
Publication date 2010-05
Sub-type Article (original research)
Open Access Status File (Author Post-print)
Start page 21
End page 28
Total pages 8
Editor Melissa Conley Tyler
Place of publication Deakin, ACT, Australia
Publisher Australian Institute of International Affairs
Collection year 2011
Language eng
Formatted abstract
The nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT), negotiated in 1968 and which entered into force in 1970, was designed chiefly to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons, but the Treaty’s other important function, enshrined in its Article VI, was to ensure the disarmament of the nuclear arsenals held by the nuclear weapon states. As such, the NPT remains the key institutional and legal mechanism by which the elimination of nuclear weapons can be pursued at a global level, and its five-yearly Review Conference provides the key opportunity for reviewing progress in this area.

At no time in its 40 year history have there been such high expectations that the disarmament conditions of the Treaty can be filled than exist now at the 2010 Review Conference being held in New York. Yet it is not likely that these hopes for accelerated disarmament and substantial change on the rhetoric of nuclear weapons’ doctrines will be fulfilled.

In sum, the 2010 Review Conference is likely to mirror the renewed hopes visible at a global level for achieving nuclear weapons disarmament, largely because of the new commitment shown by the United States, a commitment which has been supported by other NPT nuclear weapon states. As noted however, the expectations of this meeting should not be inflated. There are some useful measures that can be achieved, most importantly perhaps a sense that disarmament needs to be a joint endeavour, requiring commitment and good will for many years; it will be important for member states to work collaboratively both in the NPT and individually to foster this goal. There is more to be gained by contributing to an on-going and collaborative atmosphere than there is by focusing on the continued lack of actual treaties, such as the CTBT or a ratified START agreement. At the very least, new US policies will go some way towards reducing the bitter divisions that existed so strongly five years ago, something which in turn should reassure US policymakers, and which with luck will carry over into the 2015 Conference.
© 2010 Australian Institute of International Affairs
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Special issue: "Nuclear Futures? The 2010 NPT Review Conference and Australia’s Nuclear Policy Options". Published under "Commentaries".

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2011 Collection
School of Political Science and International Studies Publications
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Created: Fri, 25 Mar 2011, 14:46:59 EST by Elmari Louise Whyte on behalf of School of Political Science & Internat'l Studies