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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.

Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) for the 2026 Review Conference (31 July–11 August 2023)

This table provides an overview of State Parties’ proposals submitted to the Working Group on further strengthening the NPT Review Process.

View the table as a pdf

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Project publications


Strengthening the nuclear order: Pragmatic internationalism amid Russia’s war against Ukraine

Russia’s war against Ukraine has exposed critical flaws in the international nuclear realm. Valeriia Hesse writes that to prevent the total erosion of the non-proliferation norm, a realistic and pragmatic approach towards gradual nuclear arms reductions must be pursued. Ahead of the NPT PrepCom, she outlines concrete steps that the international community can take to build a stronger and more resilient nuclear order.

28 July 2023 | Valeriia Hesse

To avoid nuclear instability, a moratorium on integrating AI into nuclear decision-making is urgently needed: The NPT PrepCom can serve as a springboard

The integration of neural networks into NC3 poses a multitude of risks to global security. Alice Saltini writes that to pave the way for a moratorium, NPT State Parties should use the PrepCom to focus discussions on understanding the risks associated with integrating deep learning models into nuclear decision-making.

28 July 2023 | Alice Saltini
Policy brief

The inadmissibility of nuclear threats within the NPT regime

Ahead of the 2023 NPT Preparatory Committee, this policy brief examines how nuclear threats have changed with Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, how to define a ‘nuclear threat’, and how NPT member states should react to nuclear threats. It sets out recommendations for how State Parties can strengthen the NPT and the nuclear taboo in the current Review Cycle.

27 July 2023

The NPT: the cornerstone or headstone of the global non-proliferation regime?

The NPT has been described as a cornerstone upon which the rest of the global non-proliferation architecture has been developed, but it also marks the site where illustrious dreams lay buried. Ahead of the PrepCom in Vienna starting next week, YGLN member Olamide Samuel explores what a ‘cornerstone’ means and writes that we have a unique opportunity to protect the NPT as the cornerstone of the global nuclear non-proliferation regime.

25 July 2023 | Olamide Samuel

How to enhance the eleventh NPT review cycle and ensure a diplomatic space for continuity and coordination

Michael Biontino explores how the NPT can be strengthened in advance of its next review cycle. He outlines how, even in these increasingly polarised times, measures such as streamlining procedures and mechanisms, creating adequate institutional support and creating the appropriate governing structures, can all help to improve the effectiveness, efficiency, transparency, accountability, coordination, and continuity of the review process of the Treaty.

24 July 2023 | Michael Biontino
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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