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Protecting the Non-Proliferation Treaty

Our intergenerational Network is setting out to preserve the multilateral nuclear non-proliferation regime and prevent further erosion of the nuclear taboo and non-proliferation treaty (NPT). We’ll work to identify pathways to success in the eleventh review cycle, taking a holistic approach to the NPT and its three pillars.


International structures are resilient but not indestructible. The multilateral arms control regime is facing challenges and setbacks and requires investment. In 2018, US President Trump withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which placed restrictions on Iran’s nuclear programme. In 2019, we witnessed the end of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, which had eliminated an entire category of nuclear weapons since the 1980s. And today, the renewal of the last remaining treaty limiting US and Russian nuclear arsenals, New START, is under threat.

The Non-Proliferation Treaty is the cornerstone of the global nuclear non-proliferation regime, enhancing stability and transparency and preventing nuclear arms races. Our intergenerational network will seek to identify pathways to success in the coming review cycle leading to the 2026 Review Conference, helping to strengthen this critical treaty.


We will be multifaceted in our approach, supporting relevant initiatives to guard against losing ground the treaty has made, identifying and pursuing new pathways to diplomatic success, and investing in the next generation of arms controllers.

We will deploy our Networks of experts, expand, and establish sub-working groups focusing on the areas members deem the most pressing, provisionally concentrating on enhancing consultations in the NPT Review Cycle, reinforcing the nuclear taboo in line with recent statements made by the P5 and G20, and considering the implications of a changed European and global security environment on the non-proliferation regime.

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Pillar III: the quiet success story of the NPT RevCon

In contrast to the disappointing outcomes of the non-proliferation and disarmament pillars of the 2022 Review Conference, a significant reinvigoration took place in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy pillar. Olamide Samuel writes that Pillar III offered progressive solutions by identifying how the treaty plays a role in mitigating some of the most pressing human and environmental security issues of our time and could help inform mechanisms for cooperation and success in future RevCons.

23 January 2023 | Olamide Samuel
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Related content


The UK Government’s change in nuclear policy could raise difficult questions with the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) community

For the first time since the Cold War, the UK’s Integrated Review increases the limit for British nuclear warheads. While Russia’s nuclear doctrine and emerging technologies seem to be the most important driver behind the decision, it will be difficult for the UK Government to justify how this fits with NPT disarmament obligations.

22 March 2021 | Julia Berghofer

Reflections on P5 risk reduction: milestones to date and recommendations for the eleventh NPT review cycle

The recent P5 affirmation that “a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought” as well as the incorporation of strategic risk reduction into the nuclear doctrines and dialogues working group are impactful and are welcome first measures. The P5 must now build on this momentum to discuss a substantive programme of work which must will lead to the implementation of concrete risk reduction measures within the eleventh review cycle.

24 January 2022 | Maximilian Hoell and Goran Svilanović