In this episode, we talk about the Future of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) that entered into force on 5 March 1970; it was extended indefinitely on 11 May 1995. The Treaty is the most successful and the most widely adhered to multilateral legally binding instrument governing nuclear non-proliferation, nuclear disarmament and cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy – the “three pillars” of the Treaty.
The NPT Review Conferences have been held every five years since 1970. The NPT review process is the only forum where the five nuclear-weapon States – China, France, Russia, UK and US – engage substantively on nuclear disarmament. The 2020 NPT Review Conference had to be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and now is confirmed for 4-28 January 2022 at the UN in New York.
Christina Bellmann asks her guest Tariq Rauf about the origin and structure of the NPT in it's 50-year existence, the importance of the NPT-review conferences, what obstacles - besides being postponed three times and still having to be held under conditions of the coronavirus pandemic - the upcoming conference is facing - and she also learns a lot about the peaceful usages of nuclear technology in our daily lives.
Tariq Rauf is an internationally respected authority on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation issues. He worked as Senior Advisor to the Chair of the Disarmament Committee at the 2015 Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference and you also worked in various other functions at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) (which is also located in Vienna), on Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Conferences.
The podcast was recorded in the aftermath of a seminar that KAS Multilateral Dialogue Vienna organised together with Atomic Reporters on 4 November 2021 on "The Future of the NPT after 50 Years?" You can watch the webinar here:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TiiyJopuL9M
Tariq Rauf's bio: Tariq Rauf, Member Board of Directors of Atomic Reporters and Canadian Pugwash; is former Head of Verification and Security Policy, Alternate Head of the NPT Delegation, International Atomic Energy Agency; and was a member of the Eminent Persons Group for Substantive Progress on Nuclear Disarmament convened by the Foreign Minister of Japan. He has been an Expert Advisor with Canada’s NPT Delegations and Parliamentary Committees on Foreign Affairs and on National Defence. Co-author: Opening Pandora’s Box: Nuclear-Powered Submarines and the Spread of Nuclear Weapons (Canadian Centre for Arms Control and Disarmament, 1988); author: “Australia’s Nuclear-Powered Submarines Will Risk Opening a Pandora’s Box of Proliferation”, Global Outlook, Toda Peace Institute, 19 September 2021, among others.