The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), concluded in 1968, entered into force in. With 189 signatory states, the NPT constitutes a cornerstone in the field of international arms control, and aims at preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and, ultimately, to move towards complete elimination of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
The NPT Review Conferences take place every five years. The 2010 Review Conference took place in New York from 3 to 28 May 2010. There, an Action Plan on the three pillars of the NPT (disarmament, non-proliferation, peaceful use) was passed for the very first time in the history of the NPT. Austria chaired the consultations on the NPT-pillar disarmament.
Under the NPT, the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA, see below) is assigned with a series of key tasks. The control of the NPT derives from bilateral “Safeguards Agreements” concluded by the NTP signatory states with the IAEA. with which critical nuclear infrastructure in the signatory states can be inspected, in order to be able to rule out undeclared nuclear weapons programmes or to uncover plans to establish programmes.