Fifty years ago, at the height of the Cold War, the international community agreed to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Today, 190 countries are parties to the Treaty. The NPT obliges the nuclear-weapon states that are parties to the Treaty to strive for complete nuclear disarmament. In return, non‑nuclear-weapon states refrain from acquiring nuclear weapons. At the same time, the Treaty ensures the peaceful use of nuclear energy.
Nuclear arms control increasingly under pressure
Although the Treaty is decisive for our nuclear security, it is coming under ever more pressure. On the one hand, the nuclear-weapon states have achieved too little progress towards actual disarmament during the last years. On the other, a tangible risk is posed by other states who have acquired nuclear weapons, or could acquire them in future, such as North Korea and Iran.
Regular Review Conference
A review of the Treaty is scheduled to take place every five years. At the Review Conference, progress made in implementing the Treaty is documented, further necessary steps are agreed to and the NPT is thereby strengthened for current challenges. The objective of the conference is, despite all differences, to find a common approach for all NPT states. The conference scheduled for 2020 must now be postponed. Nevertheless, together with the countries of the Stockholm Initiative on Nuclear Disarmament, Germany is continuing to call for progress to be made in the area of nuclear arms control.
Foreign Minister Maas had the following to say in this regard:
Our goal continues to be global zero, a world without nuclear weapons. Only by working together, with mutual trust and mutual control can we get closer to reaching this goal.
Overcoming the standstill in the area of nuclear disarmament
Germany is strongly committed to overcoming this standstill and to strengthening the NPT. Last year, Germany put nuclear non‑proliferation back on the agenda of the UN Security Council. Foreign Minister Maas invited the 16 member countries of the Stockholm Initiative on Nuclear Disarmament to Berlin last February to elaborate practical steps together. These include the disclosure of nuclear weapons supplies, dialogue on military doctrines and the reduction of nuclear arsenals.