The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) is one of the seminal agreements of the 20th century and rests on three pillars: Non-nuclear states staying that way; the right of signatory states to peaceful nuclear power generation (a serious flaw), and the obligation of the P-5 (U.S., Russia, Britain, France, and China) to engage in “good faith” negotiations to eliminate their nuclear arsenals. The provisions of the Treaty envisage a review of the operation of the Treaty every five years.
The Treaty represents the only binding commitment in a multilateral treaty to the goal of disarmament by the nuclear-weapon States. The Treaty entered into force in 1970, and 190 parties have joined the Treaty, making it the mostly widely ratified arms limitation and disarmament agreement.
The NPT Review provides civil society organizations and all people concerned with issues of peace and justice the chance to address and influence high level conversations and decisions. In his address to our international conference on the eve of the 2010 NPT Review, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the thousand in attendance at the Riverside Church, “Be bold. Think big – for it yields big results. And that is why, again, we need people like you. People who understand that the world is over-armed and that peace is under-funded…Sound the alarm, keep up the pressure. Ask your leaders what they are doing – personally – to eliminate the nuclear menace. Above all, continue to be the voice of conscience.”