Senior Policy Analyst Sara Kutchesfahani wrote an article for Arms Control Today about the role the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty plays in global affairs and nuclear order 50 years after its signing.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the signing of the NPT, the bedrock of the international nuclear non-proliferation regime. Although the accord is far from perfect, its many accomplishments should be recognised. These include: an overwhelming 185 non-nuclear weapon states, a dramatic 85 percent reduction in the global nuclear weapons stockpile, a lower number of predicted nuclear weapon states, and the creation of nuclear-weapon-free zones (NWFZs), which have made the entire Southern hemisphere devoid of nuclear weapons. Despite the accomplishments, divisive issues remain, including the NPT’s universality; nuclear disarmament; measures to advance the peaceful use of nuclear energy; and the NPT’s inability to prevent non-signatories (India, Israel, and Pakistan) from crossing the nuclear threshold, and to prevent former NPT signatory North Korea from becoming a nuclear-armed state. Nevertheless, the NPT played an instrumental role in creating the foundation of the international nuclear non-proliferation regime, which remains today. Read more (ACA login required)