The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) on Thursday fulfilled fifty years in force as the great instrument to stop the advance of nuclear weapons and the powers celebrated it revealing a series of declassified documents that help to understand how it was negotiated.
The United States, Russia and the United Kingdom, the three depositary states of the treaty, agreed to publish in a coordinated manner those secrets so far that illustrate the process that culminated in the signing of the NPT in July 1968 and with its entry into force on 5 March 1970
“This is a great opportunity to remember all the work and care and prudence that was put in place to ensure that this treaty was designed so that it could survive so long and do so many good things,” the deputy secretary of state explained in a press conference. from the USA for International Security and Non-Proliferation, Christopher Ford.
According to Ford, documents made public by the US They are the first of several batches that it plans to declassify and will include thousands of pages.
The NPT, which has joined almost every country in the world, aims to curb the expansion of atomic weapons and engages the five official nuclear powers (USA, Russia, France, China and the United Kingdom) with disarmament policies.
“During the past half a year, the NPT has served as an essential pillar of international peace and security and as the heart of the nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime,” UN Secretary General António Guterres said in a statement. on the occasion of the anniversary.
According to Guterres, the treaty has offered “tangible security benefits for all States parties” and to facilitate the peaceful use of nuclear energy.
This year, between April and May, the signatory countries will hold a revision conference of the NPT to evaluate the implementation of the treaty since the last appointment of this type, in 2015, and evaluate possible future improvements.
In the face of that appointment, which will take place in New York, the UN chief demands from the governments measures to “strengthen” the application of the treaty and achieve its universality.
Three countries with atomic weapons – India, Israel and Pakistan – have never signed the agreement, while South Sudan has not yet done so and North Korea withdrew in 2003.
At the last review conference, held in 2015, Member States were unable to close a final declaration because of the differences regarding the possible creation of an atomic weapon-free zone in the Middle East.
In his press conference, Ford stressed that the differences between the NPT countries have always existed, but said he had a “cautious optimism” in the face of the next meeting, given the important preparatory work that has been developed.
According to the US official, the 50th anniversary of the treaty can be an opportunity for states to put aside those differences and join together to reiterate their commitment to the agreement.