On 29-30 January, the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs hosted a thematic seminar on pillar I (disarmament) of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) at the United Nations Office at Geneva. Representatives of all NPT States Parties were invited to take part in discussions on some of the most important issues related to nuclear disarmament. Topics included achieving and maintaining a world free of nuclear weapons, nuclear risk reduction, strengthening nuclear security assurances, the P5 process, gender, youth and disarmament, as well as mechanisms and initiatives in support of NPT implementation.
This thematic seminar is part of a project generously funded by the European Union in line with its Council Decision (CFSP) 2019/615 of 15 April 2019 on Union support for activities leading up to the 2020 Review Conference of the Parties to the NPT. It includes thematic seminars on all three pillars of the NPT (disarmament, non-proliferation and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy), as well as regional meetings for States Parties from Africa, Asia-Pacific and Latin America and the Caribbean.
In her opening remarks, the High Representative for Disarmament Affairs noted that “progress on the elimination of nuclear weapons is as important now as it has ever been.” The President-designate of the 2020 NPT Review Conference, Ambassador Gustavo Zlauvinen (Argentina), said that the 50th anniversary of the entry-into-force of the NPT in 2020 “is an opportunity for all of us not only to review the implementation of the NPT but to recommit to its objectives by strengthening its contribution to peace, security and development in all of our countries.”
Discussions at the two-day thematic seminar were informed by panels of State Party representatives and experts, including representatives of the Provisional Technical Secretariat of the Preparatory Committee for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Organization, the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research, the British American Security Information Council, the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. During interactive discussions, representatives of States Parties informed of their positions on the topics under discussions and explored areas of convergence.
The 2020 Review Conference, which will be held in New York from 27 April to 22 May 2020, will mark the 50th anniversary of the NPT’s entry-into-force and the 25th anniversary of its indefinite extension. Taking place every five years, review conferences serve to take stock of the implementation of the Treaty and to adopt recommendations for follow-on action.
Having entered into force in 1970, the NPT is a landmark international treaty whose objective is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, to promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and to further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament and general and complete disarmament.