On this day May 11, 1995

In New York City, more than 170 countries decide to extend the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty indefinitely and without conditions.

Participation in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty

Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty

The Treaty to limit the spread of nuclear weapons, was opened for signature on July 1, 1968.

There are currently 189 countries party to the treaty, five of which have nuclear weapons: the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, and the People’s Republic of China (the permanent members of the UN Security Council).

Only four recognized sovereign states are not parties to the treaty: India, Israel, Pakistan and North Korea. India, Pakistan and North Korea have openly tested and declared that they possess nuclear weapons. Israel has had a policy of opacity regarding its own nuclear weapons program. North Korea acceded to the treaty, violated it, and later withdrew.

The treaty was proposed by Ireland and Finland was the first to sign. The signing parties decided by consensus to extend the treaty indefinitely and without conditions upon meeting in New York City on May 11, 1995.

The NPT consists of a preamble and eleven articles. Although the concept of “pillars” appears nowhere in the NPT, the treaty is nevertheless sometimes interpreted as having three pillars:

  1. non-proliferation,
  2. disarmament, and
  3. the right to peacefully use nuclear technology.
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