25th anniversary of the indefinite prorogation of the NPT [fr]

On 11 May 1995, Members States of the NPT Review Conference agreed the indefinite prorogation of this treaty. The NPT was adopted in 1968 and entered into force in 1970 for an initial duration of 25 years. From this renewed momentum came, among others, the CTBT negotiation.

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The treaty on the non proliferation of nuclear weapons (NPT) : a treaty initially time limited

Right after the end of the Second World War, all countries realized what was at stake regarding nuclear proliferation. Thus was created the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in 1957. Discussions were also soon engaged to lead to the partial nuclear test ban treaty (PTBT) in 1963, short after the Cuba missile crisis, and finally the Treaty on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons (NPT).

The NPT was opened for signature on 1st July 1968. It entered into force on 5 March 1970, the United States of America, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and Russia being the States depositaries of the treaty. France announced its accession to the NPT within the framework of a “comprehensive plan for arms control and disarmament” presented by President Mitterrand to the United Nations on 3 June 1991. France joined the Treaty on 2 August 1992 and yet had been complying with its provisions since 1968.

The NPT was specific among treaties for it was agreed for an initial period of 25 years after its entry into force, that is to say till 1995, initially.

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Franz Matsch, Austria’s permanent representative to the UN and Paul Robert Jolles, executive secretary of the 18-nation Preparatory Commission for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), sign a conference agreement to secure facilities for the first General Conference of the IAEA on July 24, 1957 in Vienna.
(UN Photo/MB)

The 1995 NPT Review Conference: the choice of the indefinite prorogation

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Opening of the Review and Extension Conference of the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, United Nations Headquarters, New York, 17 April 1995. Seated on the podium from left to right: UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali; President of the Conference, Ambassador Jayantha Dhanapala (Sri Lanka); Secretary-General of the Conference, Prvoslav Davini.
Image by UN Photo by Evan Schneider # 68537

According to the Treaty, States parties gathered every 5 years to discuss the treaty implementation and more specifically, from 17 April till 12 May 1995, on the future of the Treaty itself: disappearance, a new time limited prorogation or indefinite prorogation.
By a decision made on 11 May 1995, States parties to the NPR made the choice of the indefinite prorogation of the Treaty:

Decision 3
EXTENSION OF THE TREATY ON THE NON-PROLIFERATION OF
NUCLEAR WEAPONS
The Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, Having convened in New York from 17 April to 12 May 1995, in accordance with article VIII, paragraph 3, and article X, paragraph 2, of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons,
(…)
Decides that, as a majority exists among States party to the Treaty for its indefinite extension, in accordance with article X, paragraph 2, the Treaty shall continue in force indefinitely.

In the global framework that supported this decision, establishing a Comprehensive nuclear Test Ban Treaty was agreed and that led to the CTBT opening for signature in 1996, along with the creation of the related organization, the CTBTO in Vienna.

The 2020 NPT Review Conference: a conference postponed till the 1st semester of 2021, due to the global pandemic

While initially planned from 27 April till 22 May 2020, in New York, NPT states parties agreed to postpone the 2020 Review Conference because of the international health crisis. The new date is not fixed yet but should be in the first semester of 2021, likely in New York. In order to prepare the Review Conference, consultations are carried out by H.E. Gustavo Zlauvinen, designated president of the RevCon.

The reference internet website for France approach to the question of nuclear weapons non-proliferation is still available

Dernière modification : 13/05/2020

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