The Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) is a multilateral covenant between 120 United Nations member states, which serves as the first legally binding international agreement, in working toward the adoption of a Nuclear Weapons Ban. New York. This Treaty included the negative security assurances given by the 5 Nuclear Weapons States (NWS) China, the United Kingdom, the United States, France and Russia, to the Non Nuclear Weapons States (NNWS).
Although a Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was signed in July 2017 in New York, it remains symbolic. Mainly because nine (9) states known to have nuclear armaments including the five NWS that previously signed the NPT, boycotted the convention held for the signing of said Nuclear Ban covenant.
As the turn of events has it, U.S. president Donald Trump issued a statement in February 2019 that the U.S. intends to officially withdraw its support to the agreement founded by the Non Proliferation Treaty. Many of the NNWS UN members fear that such action would trigger yet another global proliferation of nuclear weapons.
As it is, the NPT remains as the only legally binding international agreement addressing the problems posed by the international nuclear arms race.
As the NPT aims to limit the spread of nuclear weapons among nations, the covenant stated three (3) specific elements vital to the fulfillment of the purpose on which UN members agreed: First, is non-proliferation, the second is disarmament,, and lastly, is the peaceful use of nuclear energy.
The Three Elements Constituting the NPT Accord between NWS and NNWS
Three vital elements constitute the so called “grand bargain” agreed upon by the five Nuclear Weapon States (NWS) and the Non Nuclear Weapon States (NNWS):.
Non-Proliferation : Non-Acquisition of Nuclear Weapons by NWWS
Articles I, II, and III of the NPT covers an agreement that Nuclear Weapon States will not in any way shift or transfer nuclear weapons to any recipient whomsoever. Moreover the NWS will not provide assistance, show encouragement or cause to induce any Non Nuclear Weapons States to produce, develop or manufacture, or procure nuclear weapons.
On their part, the NNWS group, has an obligation not to receive nuclear weapons being transferred to their jurisdiction, as well as to desist from manufacturing or procuring such armaments. In line with the NNWS agreement to the Non Proliferation covenant, the NNWS members have to accept the “International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)” countermeasures on all nuclear materials existing in their territories, or under their jurisdiction and control.
Disarmament – NWS will Pursue Nuclear Weapons Disarmament
Articles VI of the NPT states that all parties to the treaty, specifically the NWS group, must embark on negotiations in good faith to come up with effective measures pertaining to the cessation of nuclear arms race and disarmament. The general agreement and understanding on which the treaty is founded is for complete disarmament that will be undertaken under rigid and effective international control.
Peaceful Use: Both NWS and NNWS Maintain the Right to Access Nuclear Energy for Peaceful Use
Article IV is an assertion of the right of all states, NWS and NNWS parties to develop, produce, and harness nuclear energy for peaceful use, bu<>t subject to the provisions stated in Articles I and II. All parties to the NPT commits to facilitate, and maintain a right to participate, in the exchange of materials, scientific and technological knowledge, as well as equipment necessary for the peaceful use of nuclear energy.