Page 4: 1993-95 Prelude and formal negotiations

1995: NPT Review and Extension Conference

Ambassador Jayantha Dhanapala, President of the Review and Extension Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, addresses a press conference at UN Headquarters.

Article X of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) stipulates that twenty-five years after the Treaty enters into force, States Parties shall hold a conference and decide whether the Treaty shall continue in force indefinitely, or shall be extended for an additional fixed period or periods.

In the build up to the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference, the political environment surrounding CTBT negotiations intensified. Those who wished to see Nuclear Weapon States (NWS) make more progress towards fulfilling their obligations in the preamble as well as under Article VI of the NPT challenged states seeking to secure an indefinite extension of the NPT.

The preamble of the NPT affirms that States Parties are “to seek to achieve the discontinuance of all test explosions of nuclear weapons for all time and to continue negotiations to this end.” Article VI of the NPT obligates States Parties “to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament…”

The preamble of the NPT calls upon States Parties “to seek to achieve the discontinuance of all test explosions of nuclear weapons for all time …”Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (1968)
The Review and Extension Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).

Having made these commitments 25 years ago and still waiting to see substantial progress toward these aims by NWS, NNWS were reluctant to extend the Treaty without securing additional means with which to hold NWS accountable to their disarmament obligations.

The 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference adopted an agreement that provided for the indefinite extension of the NPT. This agreement was in essence a package deal. In order for the NWS to achieve an indefinite extension, they had to make a number of concessions to the NNWS, led by the non-aligned movement.

Warren Christopher, United States Secretary of State, addresses the opening meeting in the General Assembly Hall at the Review and Extension Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

The decisions and resolution adopted by the Conference were as follows:

  • Strengthening of the review process of the Treaty.
  • Principles and objectives on nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament.
  • Extension of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
  • A resolution on the Middle East.

The decision on principles and objectives on nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament was comprised, inter alia, of the immediate commencement and early conclusion of a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT), the completion by the Conference on Disarmament of a universal and internationally and effectively verifiable Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) no later than 1996 and the development of nuclear-weapon-free zones.

 

Next chapter:
1994-96: Debating the basic issues