With the Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty about to end its activities in New York, time is ripe for a reflection on the state of health of the non-proliferation regime. After the troubled phase of the early 2000s, the 2010s have witnessed some important, albeit reversible, improvements. The US-launched Nuclear Security Summits have contributed to mainstreaming key non-proliferation issues, such as securing nuclear material and facilities, into the international agenda. More importantly, the recent breakthrough in the Iran nuclear talks might pave the way for a final agreement whose importance for the non-proliferation regime should not be belittled. Unfortunately, progress on non-proliferation has not been matched by anything comparable on the disarmament front, with the 2010 US-Russian New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty standing out as an isolated success.
Paper originally published by the Council on Foreign Relations in the framework of the Council of Councils Fourth Annual Conference, Washington, 10-12 May 2015.
1. Non-proliferation: progress in sight
2. Disarmament: the great divide lingers on