Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty

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The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, also Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT or NNPT) is a treaty to limit the spread (proliferation) of nuclear weapons. The treaty came into force on 5 March 1970, and currently there are 189 states party to the treaty, five of which are recognized as nuclear weapon states: the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, and China (also the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council).

Four non-parties to the treaty are known or believed to possess nuclear weapons: India, Pakistan and North Korea have openly tested and declared that they possess nuclear weapons, while Israel has had a policy of opacity regarding its own nuclear weapons program. North Korea acceded to the treaty, violated it, and in 2003 withdrew from it.

The treaty was proposed by Ireland and Finland, and they were the first to sign.[citation needed]

The NPT consists of a preamble and eleven articles. Although the concept of "pillars" is not expressed anywhere in the NPT, the treaty is nevertheless sometimes interpreted as a three-pillar system, with an implicit balance among them:

The treaty is reviewed every five years in meetings called Review Conferences of the Parties to the Treaty of Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. In addition, Sessions of the Preparatory Committee for the Review Conference take place on the intermediate years. Simultaneously, many events organized by independent institutions, groups of experts, think tanks and NGOs take place worldwide in order to provide reports and recommendations that complement the Preparatory Committees.[2]

Even though the treaty was originally conceived with a limited duration of 25 years, the signing parties decided, by consensus, to extend the treaty indefinitely and without conditions during the Review Conference in New York City on May 11, 1995.

The most recent Review Conference was held in May, 2010.[3]

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