Background Information


     Under the Treaty, the nuclear-weapon States are obliged not to transfer possession or control to any recipient nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, and not in any way to assist, encourage or induce non-nuclear-weapon States to manufacture, acquire or control over such weapons or devices.

  The non-nuclear-weapon States are obliged not to receive any transfer of or control over nuclear weapons or nuclear explosive devices, and not to manufacture or otherwise acquire such weapons or devices as well as not to seek or receive any assistance in this regard.

  The non-nuclear-weapon States further undertake to accept safeguards administered by the International Atomic Energy Agency on all source or special fissionable materials in all peaceful nuclear activities within their territory or under their jurisdiction or control, with a view to preventing diversion of nuclear energy from peaceful uses to nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.

  The Treaty guarantees the right of all States parties develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination and in conformity with their basic non-proliferation obligations.

  Article VI of the NPT includes the only legally binding treaty-based obligation requiring States to pursue in good faith effective measures related to nuclear disarmament.

  Article VIII of the NPT provides for the convening of a conference of Parties to the Treaty every five years in order to review the operation of this Treaty with a view to assuring that the purposes of the Preamble and the provisions of the Treaty are being realized. In 1995, in connection with the decision to extend the Treaty indefinitely, States parties agreed to strengthen the review process and continue to continue to hold Review Conferences every five years.

  The Preparatory Committee normally holds a session of 10 working days in each of the three years leading up to a review conference. As decided by States parties in 2000, the purpose of the first two Preparatory Committee sessions is to consider principles, objectives and ways in order to promote the full implementation of the Treaty, as well as its universality, and to make recommendations thereon to the Review Conference. To that end, each session should consider specific matters of substance relating to the implementation of the Treaty and Decisions 1 and 2 as well as the Resolution on the Middle East adopted in 1995, and the outcomes of subsequent Review Conferences, including developments affecting the operation and purpose of the Treaty.

  The third session is specifically mandated to make every effort to produce a consensus report containing recommendations to the Review Conference, taking into account the deliberations and results of its previous sessions.

  The 2000 Review Conference agreed to a substantive final document, including practical steps for the systematic and progressive efforts to implement article VI of the Treaty on nuclear disarmament. The 2010 Review Conference produced conclusions and recommendations for follow-on actions in the areas of nuclear disarmament, nuclear non-proliferation, peaceful uses of nuclear energy and the Middle East, particularly implementation of the 1995 Resolution on the Middle East. The 2005 and 2015 Review Conferences were unable to reach agreement on any substantive outcome documents.


Further information is available on the website of the Office for Disarmament Affairs.