Implementation of the 2010 Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Action Plan

Gaukhar Mukhozhanova
April 5, 2013

Implementation of the 2010 Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Action Plan: Report Cover

View the full report:
Implementation of the Conclusions and Recommendations for Follow-on Actions Adopted at the 2010 NPT Review Conference: Disarmament Actions 1-22

Three years after the adoption of an Action Plan by the states parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), progress on implementing its disarmament section remains very limited. NPT states parties are approaching the second session of the NPT Review Conference (RevCon) Preparatory Committee (PrepCom), which will convene in Geneva on April 22-May 3, 2013, against a mixed background. On the one hand, there is frustration with the stalemate at the traditional fora and stagnation in implementation of the Action Plan. On the other hand, many states—along with civil society—are enthusiastic about new approaches championed by non-nuclear weapon states (NNWS).

Tracking Progress

In 2011, the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) launched a project tracking the implementation of the 64-point Action Plan, which had been adopted by consensus at the 2010 NPT RevCon, to help assess whether progress is being made. Today, CNS released the second implementation report, covering the first 22 action items on nuclear disarmament as well as recommendations on the implementation of the 1995 Resolution on the establishment of a zone free of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in the Middle East. The report is cumulative, covering the developments since the 2010 Review Conference, though highlighting, wherever possible, the period from April 2012 to March 2013.

Our assessment of implementation indicates that the overall progress since 2010 has been very limited and even appears to have slowed down since the 2012 PrepCom. US-Russian dialogue on measures beyond the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (or New START) has been at a virtual standstill since late 2011, and the United Kingdom is the only nuclear weapon state (NWS) that has announced unilateral arsenal reductions since May 2010. The prospects of US ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) in the near future appear dim, which also reduces the probability of other Annex 2 states (the ratification by which is required for CTBT’s entry-into-force) joining the ban. The new NWS (P5) consultations process has been addressing transparency and verification issues, but so far has little to show in the way of outcomes. Finally, failure to convene the Middle East conference on establishment of a WMD-free zone, and further lack of progress in this area, risks undermining the consensus achieved in 2010 and has implications for the NPT regime at large.

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