3 April 2002


Press Release

Background Release



The Preparatory Committee for the 2005 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) will hold its first session at United Nations Headquarters in New York from 8 to 19 April 2002.  The Chairman-designate is Henrik Salander of Sweden.  The Preparatory Committee, open to all States parties to the Treaty, will address substantive and procedural issues related to the Treaty and the upcoming Review Conference.  The NPT, which entered into force in 1970 and was extended indefinitely in 1995, requires that review conferences be held every five years.

The NPT, which has a total of 187 States parties, is regarded as the cornerstone of the global nuclear non-proliferation regime.  It was designed to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, further the goal of nuclear disarmament andgeneral and complete disarmament, and promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

Under the Treaty, each nuclear-weapon-State party undertakes not to transfer nuclear weapons to any recipient or assist or encourage any non-nuclear-weapon State to manufacture or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons.  Similarly, each non-nuclear-weapon-State party undertakes not to receive the transfer of nuclear weapons or manufacture or otherwise acquire them.

To further the goal of non-proliferation, the Treaty establishes a safeguards system under the auspices of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).  Safeguards are used to verify compliance with the NPT through inspections conducted by the IAEA.  The Treaty promotes cooperation in the field of peaceful nuclear technology and equal access to this technology for all States parties, while safeguards prevent the diversion of fissile material for weapons use.

The purpose of the Preparatory Committee is to prepare for the Review Conference in terms of assessing the implementation of each article of the NPT and facilitating discussion between States prior to the start of the Conference.  The April 2002 meeting is the first of three sessions that will be held prior to the 2005 Review Conference.

At the 2000 NPT Review Conference, States parties agreed on a final document that included specific commitments to work towards the Treaty’s overall goals of nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament.  The document included the historic

13 “practical steps” towards nuclear disarmament, specifically the implementation of article VI of the NPT, and paragraphs 3 and 4 of the 1995 Decision on “Principles and Objectives for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament”.  The  13 steps include action to be taken in the areas of nuclear testing, existing

weapon-related stocks, verification and transparency, and the role of nuclear weapons in national security policy.

In the area of nuclear safeguards, the 2000 Final Document called upon State parties to conclude comprehensive safeguard agreements and encouraged State parties to negotiate additional protocols with the IAEA to increase the effectiveness of inspections.  In the Final Document, State parties also reaffirmed the inalienable right of all parties to the Treaty to the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes and addressed the related issues of the physical protection of nuclear material and nuclear and radiation safety. 

The 2000 Final Document included support for the establishment of nuclear-weapon-free zones and addressed other regional disarmament issues in the Middle East, South Asia, and East Asia.  In particular, the 2000 Final Document reaffirmed the importance of the resolution on the Middle East, adopted by the 1995 Review and Extension Conference.  This resolution called upon all States in the Middle East to accede to the NPT and place their nuclear facilities under IAEA safeguards.  It also called for the development of a zone free of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East. 

The 2000 Final Document also addressed measures to improve the review process for the NPT, specifically the consideration of substantive issues related to the Treaty and the outcome of the Review Conferences during each meeting of the Preparatory Committee.

In addition to substantive discussion, the Preparatory Committee will discuss organizational and procedural issues related to its own work and that of the 2005 Review Conference.  This discussion may include decisions on the dates and venues of future Preparatory Committee sessions and their chairmanship, the date and venue of the Conference and its presidency, decision-making, participation of others than States parties, financial arrangements for meeting the costs of the Conference and its preparatory process, and the rules of procedure and agenda of the Conference.

States Parties to NPT

Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Holy See, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria,

Norway, Oman, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Yugoslavia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

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For information media. Not an official record.