The Renewed NPT: Old Wine in New Bottles?
The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) was opened for signature in 1968 and came into effect in 1970 following ratification by the required number of states. The NPT was to remain in force for 25 years and accordingly the original treaty expired in 1995. Following a meeting at United Nations headquarters in New York in April 1995, the NPT was renewed indefinitely without change to the text. The membership of the renewed NPT is now nearly unanimous with only three states of significance remaining outside: India, Pakistan and Israel. Although there were earlier predictions about the NPT’s imminent collapse, especially after India tested an atomic device in 1974, the Treaty has survived. Indeed, the NPT’s prospects at the beginning of the 21st century may be argued to be much less gloomy than in the early 1960s when predictions were made that by the turn of this century there would be more than 30 nuclear weapons states in the world. With the exception of India in 1974, no new states have conducted nuclear tests, and even India has refrained from further tests.
KeywordsNuclear Weapon Chemical Weapon Convention Nuclear Threat Nuclear Weapon State Nuclear Weapon Programme
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