The UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, says the treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) is an “essential pillar” of international peace and security.
In a statement on the 50th anniversary of the opening for signature of the NPT, Mr Guterres urged all state parties to ensure the nuclear non-proliferation treaty’s continued relevance in the years ahead.
The UN chief also described the treaty as the “heart” of the nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime.
“Its unique status is based on its near universal membership, legally-binding obligations on disarmament, verifiable non-proliferation safeguards regime and commitment to the peaceful use of nuclear energy,’’ he said.
Guterres also welcomed the joint statement by the NPT’s depositories – Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States – including their re-commitment to the elimination of nuclear weapons, “a central priority of his agenda for disarmament and securing our common future,” which he unveiled in May.
The NPT is a landmark international treaty, aimed to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, promote co-operation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament.
It represents the only binding commitment in a multilateral treaty to the goal of disarmament by the nuclear-weapon States.
Since opening for signature on July 1, 1968, 191 States have joined the Treaty, including the five nuclear-weapon States.
More countries have ratified the NPT than any other arms limitation and disarmament agreement.
NPT entered into force in 1970 and in May 1995, it was extended indefinitely.
In 2020, the review conference of the Treaty will be held, during which the States parties will examine the implementation of its provisions.