The tenth Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons took place from 1 to 26 August 2022 at United Nations Headquarters in New York. Its work is recorded on a website in all six official UN languages. Highlights are reproduced below. All documents and statements from the website are also available here.
The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), particularly article VIII, paragraph 3, envisages a review of the operation of the Treaty every five years, a provision which was reaffirmed by the States parties at the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference and the 2000 NPT Review Conference.
At the Tenth NPT Review Conference, States parties will examine the implementation of the Treaty’s provisions since 2015, noting that, despite intensive consultations, the 2015 Review Conference was not able to reach agreement on the substantive part of the draft Final Document.
The NPT is a landmark international treaty whose objective is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, to promote co-operation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and to further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament and general and complete disarmament. The NPT represents the only binding commitment in a multilateral treaty to the goal of disarmament by the nuclear-weapon States.
Opened for signature in 1968, the Treaty entered into force in 1970. Since its entry into force, the NPT has been the cornerstone of global nuclear non-proliferation regime. 191 States parties have joined the Treaty, including the five nuclear-weapon States, making the NPT the most widely adhered to multilateral disarmament agreement.
History of the Treaty
From the beginning of the nuclear age, and the use of nuclear weapons in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, it has been apparent that the development of nuclear capabilities by States could enable them to divert technology and materials for weapons purposes. Thus, the problem of preventing such diversions became a central issue in discussions on peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Initial efforts, which began in 1946, to create an international system enabling all States to have access to nuclear technology under appropriate safeguards, were terminated in 1949 without the achievement of this objective, due to serious political differences between the major Powers. By then, both the United States and the former Soviet Union had tested nuclear weapons and were beginning to grow their stockpiles.
In December 1953, US President Dwight D. Eisenhower in his “Atoms for Peace” proposal, presented to the eighth session of the United Nations General Assembly, urged for an international organization to be established to disseminate peaceful nuclear technology, while guarding against development of weapons capabilities in additional countries. His proposal resulted in 1957 in the establishment of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which was charged with the dual responsibility of promotion and control of nuclear technology. IAEA technical assistance activities began in 1958. An interim safeguards system for small nuclear reactors, put in place in 1961, was replaced in 1964 by a system covering larger installations and, over the following years, was expanded to include additional nuclear facilities (INFCIRC/66 and revisions). In accordance with the safeguards provisions of the Treaty (Article Iii, paragraph 4) a Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement was developed (INFCIRC/153) to ensure safeguards on “all source or special fissionable material in all peaceful nuclear activities within its territory, under its jurisdiction or carried out under its control anywhere, for the exclusive purpose of verifying that such material is not diverted to nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices”. In recent years, efforts to strengthen the effectiveness and improve the efficiency of the IAEA safeguards system culminated in the approval of the Model Additional Protocol (INFCIRC/540) by the IAEA Board of Governors in May 1997. Currently, 136 States have an in force Additional Protocol.
Within the framework of the United Nations, the principle of nuclear non-proliferation was addressed in negotiations as early as 1957 and gained significant momentum in the early 1960s. The structure of a treaty to uphold nuclear non-proliferation as a norm of international behaviour had become clear by the mid-1960s, and by 1968 final agreement had been reached on a Treaty that would prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons, enable co-operation for the peaceful use of nuclear energy and further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament. The Treaty provided, in article X, for a conference to be convened 25 years after its entry into force to decide whether the Treaty should continue in force indefinitely or be extended for an additional fixed period or periods. Accordingly, at the NPT Review and Extension Conference in May 1995, States parties to the Treaty agreed—without a vote—on the Treaty’s indefinite extension and decided that review conferences should continue to be held every five years.
The NPT Review Process
Conferences to review the operation of the Treaty have been held at five-year intervals since the Treaty went into effect in 1970. Each conference has sought to reach agreement on a final declaration that would assess the implementation of the Treaty’s provisions and make recommendations on measures to further strengthen it. Consensus on a Final Declaration was reached at the 1975, 1985, 2000 and 2010 Review Conferences, but could not be achieved in 1980, 1990, 1995, 2005 and 2015. Differences have centred in particular on the question of whether or not the nuclear-weapon States had sufficiently fulfilled the requirements of article VI (nuclear disarmament) as well as on issues such as nuclear testing, qualitative nuclear-weapon developments, and security assurances to non-nuclear-weapon States by nuclear-weapon States, as well as over the implementation of the 1995 resolution on the creation of a Middle East Zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction.
The 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference had two objectives: to review the Treaty’s operation and to decide on its extension. While not being able to agree on a consensus review of the Treaty’s implementation, States parties adopted without a vote a package of decisions. These decisions consisted of (a) elements for a strengthened review process for the Treaty, (b) principles and objectives for nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, and (c) the indefinite extension of the Treaty; as well as a resolution on the Middle East.
The 2000 Review Conference demonstrated the strength of the new review mechanism and the concept of accountability which had been agreed upon when States parties accepted the “permanence of the Treaty” and extended it indefinitely. For the first time in 15 years, States parties successfully concluded their deliberations with agreement on a Final Document that assessed the Treaty’s past performance and on a number of key issues pertaining to nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, nuclear safety and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
The Final Document reaffirmed the central role of the NPT in ongoing global efforts to strengthen nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament and reflected consensus language dealing with virtually all the major aspects of the Treaty. In addition, after noting that the Conference deplored the nuclear test explosions carried out by India and Pakistan in 1998, the Document reaffirmed that any new State party to the Treaty will be accepted only as a non-nuclear-weapon State, regardless of its nuclear capabilities.
The most critical and delicate achievement was the incorporation in the Document of a set of practical steps for the systematic and progressive efforts to implement article VI of the Treaty. These steps provide benchmarks by which future progress by the States parties can be measured. One of the most frequently quoted among them is the nuclear weapon States’ agreement, for the first time, to undertake unequivocally to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals leading to nuclear disarmament.
The 2005 Review Conference was unable to reach agreement on a substantive outcome, though States parties were able to engage in useful discussions on a range of issues. Some key disagreements that contributed to this outcome included whether disarmament or non-proliferation should be prioritized and the status of past decisions and agreements, including those reached by the 1995 and 2000 Conferences.
The 2010 Review Conference managed to agree on a 64-point Action Plan covering the three pillars of the Treaty (nuclear disarmament, nuclear non-proliferation and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy), as well as on the Middle East.
The 2015 Review Conference was unable to agree on a substantive outcome, largely due to disagreements over how to move forward on the implementation of the 1995 Middle East resolution. Nevertheless, States parties did engage in forward-looking discussions across the three pillars of the Treaty, including possible measures for the pursuit of nuclear disarmament.
Towards the tenth NPT Review Conference
The Preparatory Committee for the Tenth NPT Conference held three sessions in the period May 2017 to May 2019. As in the previous review cycle, the Preparatory Commission devoted the majority of its meetings to substantive preparation for the Conference and considered principles, objectives and ways to promote the full implementation of the Treaty, as well as its universality. In this context, the Committee took into account the outcomes of previous Review Conferences, the decisions and the resolution on the Middle East adopted in 1995, as well as developments affecting the operation and purpose of the Treaty, and thereby considering approaches and measures to realize its purpose, reaffirming the need for full compliance with the Treaty.
The Committee agreed to all of the organizational and procedural arrangements for the Tenth Conference, including its provisional agenda. The Committee also agreed to the draft rules of procedures, the date and venue, financing, the nomination of a Secretary-General, background documentation, and the chairpersons of the three Main Committees to be established at the Conference. Accordingly, Main Committee I should be chaired by a representative of the Group of Non-Aligned and Other States, namely, the Chairman of the third session of the Preparatory Committee (Malaysia); Main Committee II should be chaired by a representative of the Group of Eastern European States, namely, the Chairman of the second session of the Preparatory Committee (Poland); and that Main Committee III should be chaired by a representative of the Western Group, namely, the Chairman of the first session of the Preparatory Committee (Netherlands). The Committee decided to defer consideration of the final document to the Review Conference
According to the agreement reached in 2000, the Preparatory Committee was expected to make every effort to produce a consensus report containing recommendations to the Review Conference. Despite devoting several meetings toward this end, due to the persistence of divergent views, the Committee was unable to reach agreement on the substantive issues under consideration.
The Tenth NPT Review Conference is expected to consider a number of issues: universality of the Treaty; nuclear disarmament, including specific practical measures; nuclear non-proliferation, including the promoting and strengthening of safeguards; measures to advance the peaceful use of nuclear energy, safety and security; regional disarmament and non-proliferation; implementation of the 1995 resolution on the Middle East; measures to address withdrawal from the Treaty; measures to further strengthen the review process; ways to promote engagement with civil society in strengthening NPT norms and in promoting disarmament education; and gender and representation.
President of the Conference
H.E. Ambassador Gustavo Zlauvinen
Current Position — President of the Tenth Review Conference for the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
Rank — Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary.
Deputy Foreign Minister at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship of Argentina (2019).
Undersecretary for Foreign Policy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship of Argentina (2016-2018).
Director of International Organizations at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship of Argentina (2014-2016).
Director and Executive Secretary of the National Authority for the Chemical Weapons Convention (ANCAQ) (2010-2014).
Permanent Representative of the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to the United Nations in New York (2001-2009).
Member of the Cabinet of the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs at the Foreign Ministry of Argentina, Buenos Aires (1999-2001).
Chief of Staff of the Executive Chairman of the United Nations Special Commission for the Disarmament of Iraq (UNSCOM). New York (1995-1999).
Argentina's Alternate Representative to IAEA in Vienna (1991-1995).
He served in the Department for Nuclear Disarmament Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship of Argentina (1989-1991).
Graduate of the National Foreign Service Institute of Argentine Republic (Buenos Aires, 1989). Degree in International Relations. National University of Rosario (1984).
Associate Professor of Public International Law, UBA 1988-1990. Professor of Argentine Foreign Policy, UCA, 1989-1990.
During his career in the diplomatic service, Amb. Zlauvinen has served as Delegate of Argentina to a number of disarmament, nuclear energy and arms control conferences and meetings, including, the IAEA Board of Governors and General Conference; the United Nations General Assembly's First Committee; the NPT review process; the Conference on the adoption of the Nuclear Safety Convention; and the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of the Outer Space.
From 1993 to 1996, he was Rapporteur of the Standing Committee on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage.
From 2005 to 2009 he was the Chairman of the Working Group on Preventing and Responding to Weapons of Mass Destruction Attacks of the United Nations Counterterrorism Implementation Task Force (New York).
He coordinated the Group of Latin America and the Caribbean (GRULAC) to the IAEA in Vienna on several occasions (1993-1995).
He was the Director of International Affairs of the National Commission for Space Research – CNIE (1989-1991).
He was guest speaker at the Committee on Hemispheric Security of the Organization of American States (OAS); the Department for Disarmament Affairs of the UN; Tufts University (Boston); at the United States Military Academy (West Point), the International Bar Association; and the Carnegie Foundation, among others.
He was born in 1960. He is married and has two children.
Eastern European Group
Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Romania, Slovenia, Ukraine.
Algeria, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Lebanon, Morocco, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, State of Palestine, Thailand, Viet Nam, Yemen.
Western and Other Group
Australia, Austria, Canada, France, Finland, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Sweden, United Kingdom.
Information for Participants
States Parties, Observer States & Intergovernmental Organizations
Submission deadline: 18 July 2022
Permanent missions and liaison offices in New York are required to submit their registration requests using the online eRegistration system (for in-person participants only), which is available through the e-deleGATE portal (https://edelegate.un.int). Information on the system may be found in the guidelines on eRegistration and the frequently asked questions posted on the Protocol and Liaison Service website (www.un.org/dgacm/en/content/protocol/meetings). It should be noted that all registration requests must be submitted through the eRegistration system. The deadline for the submission of online registration requests is Monday, 18 July 2022.
Intergovernmental organizations accredited with the General Assembly, specialized agencies and related organizations that have not registered in the eRegistration system must apply for an eRegistration account in advance (no later than 1 July 2022) in order to register for the Conference. Please follow the instructions in the “Guidelines to apply for eRegistration account”. Please follow the instruction in the “Guidelines to apply for eRegistration account” posted on the Protocol website.
Registration must be in accordance with the names provided in the information on the composition of the delegation provided through the e-deleGATE portal.
|Information for States parties, observer States and intergovernmental organizations: NPT/CONF.2020/INF/1/Rev.2|
Non-governmental organizations (NGOs)
Attendance and Accreditation
Requests for accreditation submission deadline: 17 June 2022
Submission deadline for additional representatives: 18 July 2022
Based on the practice of the previous review conferences, as well as on the draft rules of procedure of the Conference, recommended by the Preparatory Committee, which will apply provisionally for the session of the 2020 Review Conference until a final decision on this matter is taken, representatives of non-governmental organizations will be allowed, upon request, to attend the meetings of the Review Conference other than those designated closed, to be seated in the public gallery, to receive documents of the Review Conference and, at their own expense, to make written material available to the participants. Consistent with the Final Document of the 2000 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, a meeting will be allocated for non-governmental organizations to address the Review Conference.
If your organization requested and received accreditation in 2020 or 2021 to attend the Review Conference, its accreditation remains valid. Previously accredited organizations do not need to apply again.
All new requests for accreditation must be submitted to the Secretariat no later than 17 June 2022 using the online form available at https://forms.office.com/r/j4vz1Sj0sa. Non-governmental organizations must also submit to Diane Barnes (email@example.com) a written accreditation request on the official letterhead of the organization listing the representatives who will attend, including their full names and titles. Additional representatives may be included in a revised accreditation request letter, which should be should be submitted by 18 July 2022. To facilitate communications concerning accreditation and registration, the letter must include the personal email address and direct telephone number of a point of contact in the organization.
Non-governmental organizations that have not attended a previous Review Conference or Preparatory Committee meeting of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons should indicate previous interactions between the organization and the United Nations in relation to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation issues. A mission statement or summary of work of the organization should be provided.
Those non-governmental organizations that have requested accreditation as stated above will be informed by the Secretariat by email by 28 June 2022 of the outcome of their request. For questions relating to accreditation, please contact Diane Barnes (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Contact for the Tenth NPT Review Conference
The Secretariat has been informed that the designated NGO point of contact in connection with participation by NGOs in the Review Conference is as follows:
Ms. Allison Pytlak
Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom
777 UN Plaza, 6th floor
New York, NY 10017, United States of America
Tel: +1 212 682 1265
Fax: +1 212 286 8211
|Information for participation by NGOs: NPT/CONF.2020/INF/2/Rev.2|
Information for the Media
If you would like to attend the conference as media and are not currently an accredited UN correspondent, please visit the Media Accreditation website to apply for credentials.
Media Contacts for the Tenth NPT Review Conference
Ms. Suzanne Oosterwijk
United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs
UN Secretariat, S-30FW
Tel: +1 917 367 2556