Evaluation of U.S. Efforts To Promote Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty

ID-80-41: Published: Jul 31, 1980. Publicly Released: Jul 31, 1980.

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In August 1980, the second conference of party states to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, usually referred to as the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) will be held to review the operation of the Treaty. Of the 114 countries party to the Treaty in July 1980, five had signed but not yet ratified it. However, 46 countries have neither signed nor ratified the Treaty including nuclear weapon states and advanced and rapidly advancing non-nuclear weapon states. A review was undertaken to determine why these countries have not become party to the NPT and what the United States has done to encourage them to come under the Treaty.

The reasons given by nonparty states for not coming under the NPT include: claims that the Treaty discriminates against non-nuclear weapon states; concerns about national security; and suspicions that joining the NPT would adversely affect their peaceful nuclear programs and activities. These countries point out that although non-nuclear weapon states are required to relinquish forever their option to develop or acquire nuclear weapons, NPT parties need only to pursue negotiations in good faith toward nuclear disarmament. The non-nuclear weapon states also claim that the nuclear weapon superpowers have accomplished little toward the disarmament goals of the NPT, and point out that nuclear weapon state parties are not required to place any of their facilities under international safeguards. At the same time, non-nuclear weapon states are required to place all of their facilities and special nuclear materials under the safeguards system of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The United States encourages countries to become party to the NPT through direct and indirect diplomatic initiatives and general incentives. The United States has entered into in agreement with the IAEA to place its peaceful nuclear activities under IAEA safeguards to demonstrate that safeguards would not undermine nuclear programs. It has also established a technical assistance program for parties to the NPT and affirmed its willingness to finance appropriate nuclear projects in countries meeting U.S. nonproliferation requirements.

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