50 years of Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty(NPT)

News:Recently,the five permanent members(P5) of the UN Security Council issued a statement on the successful 50 years of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) which came into force on March 5, 1970.


Key takeaways from the Statement:

  • The number of nuclear weapons declined rapidly from the Cold War peak of 70,300 nuclear warheads in 1986 to around 14,000 as of mid-2019.But the rate of reduction has been progressively slowing in the past 25 years.
  • The U.S, Russia, and the U.K. are reducing their inventories.France and Israel have also relatively stable inventories.However, China, Pakistan, India and North Korea are increasing their warheads.

About Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty(NPT):

  • The Non-proliferation Treaty is an international treaty signed in 1968 and came into force in 1970.
  • Aim: a) prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology b) promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and c)further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament and general and complete disarmament.
  • Safeguards: It establishes a safeguards system under the responsibility of the International Atomic Energy Agency(IAEA).Safeguards are used to verify compliance with the Treaty through inspections conducted by the IAEA. 
  • The treaty defines nuclear-weapon states as those that have built and tested a nuclear explosive device before 1 January 1967; these are the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, and China.
  • The other nuclear armed states—India, Israel and Pakistan have not joined the treaty.Further,North Korea and South Sudan have also not signed the treaty.