Regional meeting for African States Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT)
9 September 2019
On 29-30 August, the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs and the African Union Commission hosted a regional meeting for African States Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). Taking place at the headquarters of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the event brought together representatives of 39 African States Parties, expert presenters and the President-designate of the 2020 NPT Review Conference, His Excellency Rafael Mariano Grossi (Argentina).
This regional meeting was the first of a series made possible by 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. Further regional meetings are planned for the Asia-Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean and Middle East Regions. In addition, thematic seminars on each of the NPT’s three pillars (disarmament, non-proliferation and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy) will be held before the 2020 Review Conference.
The regional meeting provided an opportunity for the President-designate of the 2020 Review Conference to share his vision with regional States Parties, and to listen to their priorities and concerns. In discussions on each of the three pillars of the Treaty, informed by expert presentations by representatives of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN Institute for Disarmament Research, the African Commission on Nuclear Energy and the Institute for Security Studies, as well as panels of regional States Parties, participants shared their national views regarding challenges and opportunities for the Review Conference. They also benefitted from a presentation of the procedural aspects of the NPT review process, and a discussion on regional perspectives and arrangements relating to the Treaty.
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 Treaty’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.