Policy Brief 15 – Challenges and Opportunities for Extending NPT- Related Commitments to the Non-NPT States

  • Sep 30, 2014

The following is a summary. Click on the adjacent link to download the full briefing.

Today only four states – India, Israel, North Korea and Pakistan – remain outside the NPT. Putting aside the case of North Korea (which was a non‐nuclear weapon state NPT party: hopefully the conditions can be established for it to rejoin as such), it is time to move from isolation to engagement with respect to the non-parties. Engagement, however, must be on a reciprocal basis – cooperation should be based on these states being prepared to participate constructively in regime-equivalent commitments. Although they might not appreciate it, the non-parties all benefit from the more stable world the NPT regime has been able to provide. Without the NPT, the security environment for all states would be far more challenging. The non-NPT states have gained this benefit without contributing to the regime. Now it is essential to find ways of extending key NPT-equivalent disciplines to the non-NPT states – achieving deep nuclear cuts and eventual disarmament will require universality. The non-NPT states cannot join the NPT as nuclear weapon states. It is not realistic to expect the non-NPT states to disarm and join the treaty as non-­‐nuclear weapon states in the near term. However, there are key NPT provisions on non-proliferation and disarmament that the non-parties could adopt today, if there were an appropriate mechanism for them to do this. This could be done through a special treaty or a protocol to the NPT, or through other bilateral and multilateral treaties and arrangements.