Backgrounder: Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty   2010-05-03 11:08:38 FeedbackPrintRSS

BEIJING, May 3 (Xinhua) -- Representatives from more than 100 countries are expected to attend the latest five-yearly Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference, which is scheduled to start on Monday and will last 25 days.

According to Sergio Duarte, the UN high representative for disarmament affairs, one of the main challenges for this year's event is how to make the NPT more effective in the fields of disarmament, non-proliferation and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, the three main thrusts of the treaty.

The following is a brief introduction to the NPT:

In the 1960s, the United States and the Soviet Union stepped up their nuclear testing in a bid to improve their nuclear arsenals. Seeking to maintain their respective nuclear advantages, the two superpowers began to push for negotiations on a treaty that would stem the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

In June 1968, the United Nations passed the NPT, which was opened for signatures in Washington, Moscow and London the next month. 59 countries signed up to it.

With 11 articles, the treaty stipulates that each nuclear-weapon state (NWS) refrain from transferring nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices to any recipient, and not to assist any non-nuclear weapon state in producing or acquiring such weapons or devices.

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