Marking the 50th Anniversary of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty
RUSI is marking the 50th anniversary of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) by hosting a compilation of historic documents recording the negotiations during the 1960s.
Sarah Price, Head of the government's Counter Proliferation and Arms Control Centre:
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty on Thursday 5 March 2020, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, in partnership with the US State Department and the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has released a compilation of historic documents from the 1960s recording the negotiations. These documents, which were released to the National Archives in the 1990s, demonstrate how despite Cold War tensions, states were united by the shared goal of preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons. The UK remains as strongly committed to the NPT today as it was when it negotiated it 50 years ago.
Tom Plant, Director of its Proliferation and Nuclear Policy at the Royal United Services Institute said:
These documents represent an important resource for scholars of the NPT, shedding light on the position of the UK, its allies and its rivals during the negotiation of this critical treaty. Their publication also serves a political purpose, and sends a political message. The UK has been lauded – rightly, in our judgement – for its efforts to work with others, from governments and non-governmental organisations alike, to improve its transparency and reporting to the Treaty’s Review Conference, and to energise the ‘P5 Process’ on nuclear disarmament. This publication should be seen in part in that light. But it also speaks to contemporary discourse on the equality or otherwise of the three pillars of the NPT – non-proliferation, disarmament and peaceful use of nuclear technology – a subject on which each of the co-depositories of the Treaty, who have collaborated on this release of documents, perhaps share more views than they might on other matters, valuing and prioritising as they do the first of these pillars. This historical record helps to bear that out as the original negotiated intent of the NPT, at least from the perspective of the UK, and will not doubt be cited in discussions and disagreements over whether more recent commitments on disarmament issues, made as part of the Treaty’s Review Process, should carry the same weight.
By hosting this collection, brought together by Dr John Walker, Head of the Arms Control and Disarmament Research Unit of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, we at RUSI hope to promote wider understanding of this issue by scholars, practitioners and other interested parties. In coming weeks these documents will be integrated into the RUSI Digital Collections, which will launch in early summer. This open-access resource, curated by RUSI’s Librarian, Jacqui Grainger, will bring together a large amount of RUSI’s extensive archival material, including institutional, military and Imperial history, photographs and art, in a readily-accessible form for researchers and the wider public alike. We are proud to be able to incorporate these important government records in this Collection.
Download the documents
- INTRODUCTION, THE UK AND THE ORIGINS OF THE NPT
- EDITORS’ NOTE
- STATE PAPERS 1965
- STATE PAPERS 1966
- STATE PAPERS 1967 PART ONE
- STATE PAPERS 1967 PART TWO
- STATE PAPERS 1968 PART ONE
- STATE PAPERS 1968 PART TWO
- ANNEX A: NPT FILES IN THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES
- ANNEX B: BIBLIOGRAPHY
Latest News from
Rickety Anchor: North Korea Calls its Illicit Shipping Fleet Home amid Coronavirus Fears27/03/2020 10:25:00
In a World of Pandemics and ‘Black Sky Hazards’, Can the UN Be Rendered Fit for the 21st Century?26/03/2020 10:33:00
The coronavirus crisis has exposed deep flaws within the UN. At a time when the world is desperate for the international leadership that only an organisation like the UN can provide, the organisation itself has never seemed so dysfunctional and ineffective.
How Covid-19 is Changing the Organised Crime Threat25/03/2020 10:33:00
Organised crime might seek to exploit the coronavirus pandemic in several ways. What are the likely implications for the law enforcement agencies?
The Coronavirus Epidemic and Panic Buying: Follow the East German Example24/03/2020 14:25:00
Of society and resilience: the scarcities of the past, and the panic buying of today.
Europe’s Coronavirus Response: Selfish Member States and Active Institutions19/03/2020 13:38:00
EU member states displayed little solidarity in the current crisis, but EU institutions fared better.
Coronavirus – RUSI policy19/03/2020 10:43:00
The UK government has now issued guidelines on ‘social distancing’ to reduce interaction between people.
Re-Examining the UK’s Priorities in the Asia-Pacific Region18/03/2020 13:43:00
The UK’s upcoming Integrated Review is a good opportunity to assess the country’s commitment to and posture in the Asia-Pacific, which is rapidly becoming the world’s most pivotal region.
The Yukos Case: An Old Russian Wrong Keeps Haunting President Putin16/03/2020 11:05:00
Owners of a company Russian President Vladimir Putin confiscated for political reasons have finally extracted justice from a court in the West. But Russia is unlikely to respect the ruling. Nor is it likely to respect international law.