The Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty is often called the cornerstone of the nuclear nonproliferation regime. The treaty itself is fairly simple: nuclear weapon states pledge not to spread nuclear weapons technology, knowledge, material or equipment to any recipients (Article I); non-nuclear weapon states pledge not to receive or acquire the same (Article II); and all states pledge to facilitate exchanges in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy (Article IV) and pursue negotiations on effective measures to end the nuclear arms race as well as general and complete disarmament (Article VI). In addition, non-nuclear weapon states agree to undergo international inspections to verify their obligations under the treaty (i.e., safeguards, Article III).
The NPT was indefinitely extended in 1995, but every five years, parties meet to review treaty implementation. The 2005 review was widely regarded as a failure, but the 2010 review managed to achieve a consensus document. That document includes 64 action items, some of which will be difficult to implement. Is achieving agreement on a document enough to call the review conference or even the treaty itself a “success”? Does it matter if the Revcon is a success? What factors helped shape the political will? How fragile is that consensus? What are the crucial steps for strengthening the NPT and are these achievable within the Review Conference Framework? This panel will explore all of these dimensions as well as the challenges for the 2015 NPT Review Conference.