Challenges of Maintaining the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons

251
DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2020-64-3-29-35
D. Selezneva (dselezneva@outlook.com),
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation

Abstract. Today, half a century after its inception, the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) faces a plethora of old and new challenges: first, the NTP states parties are now starting to walk away from their obligations under the Treaty; second, the Treaty’s articles are receiving multiple interpretations, which creates dangerous discrepancies; and, finally, non-proliferation regimes and norms are being undermined by military conflicts and political tensions. Divisions among the states parties over the way forward on disarmament, non-proliferation and peaceful uses of nuclear energy continue to grow amid the current tense international environment. Diplomacy, negotiations and dialogue take second place to platitudinous postulations and constant bickering. There is no consensus among the NPT states parties concerning the pathway for substantive nuclear disarmament. Nuclear weapons and ballistic missile program of the DPRK continues to pose both regional and global proliferation threat. The future of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and Iran’s nuclear program is hanging in the air. At issue is the failure to make any tangible progress towards establishing a zone free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East, which effectively became the main “apple of discord” during the previous review conference. There are strong chances that next year it will again become a highly contentious issue and lead the 2020 NPT Review Conference to the same fate that befall its predecessor. There is growing anxiety about the outcome of this crucial event. These challenges are as daunting as they are urgent and require immediate and concerted response from all the states parties to the NPT. Given the currently challenging international environment and the crisis in arms control regime, if two consecutive review conferences – one of which also marks the Treaty’s half century anniversary – fail to agree on an outcome document, it could have grave consequences for the NPT and the entire nuclear non-proliferation regime.

Keywords: Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, NPT Review Conference, nuclear disarmament, Middle East Weapons of Mass Destruction Free Zone (MEWMDFZ), Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Iran’s nuclear program


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For citation:
Selezneva D. Challenges of Maintaining the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2020, vol. 64, no. 3, pp. 29-35. https://doi.org/10.20542/0131-2227-2020-64-3-29-35



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