Issue Brief #15: The TPNW and the NPT


On October 24, 2020, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) reached the 50th ratification needed for it to become legally binding. The treaty will enter into force after 90 days on January 22, 2021, and the Secretary-General of the United Nations will convene a first meeting of states parties within one year. Also in 2021, states parties to the Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) are scheduled to meet for the 10th Review Conference which was postponed from May 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Both meetings will tackle the crisis in nuclear disarmament and arms control – but from different angles. This paper looks at possible convergences between the NPT and the TPNW: How can the international community ensure complementarity between the two treaties? How can states parties to the NPT and the TPNW jointly advance nuclear disarmament, to their mutual benefit? And how could such cooperation be constructively reflected in the outcome of the 10th NPT Review Conference?

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About the Authors

Lina-Marieke Hilgert is a Researcher at the IFSH and has been working for the Deep Cuts Project since 2016. She was rewarded the 2017 UN Programme of Fellowships on Disarmament and worked at the German Permanent Mission to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva.

Angela Kane is a Senior Fellow at the Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation. In addition, she holds a number of other functions, inter alia at the International Institute for Peace in Vienna, the Paris School of International Affairs, and the Tsinghua University in Beijing. Kane has served in many notable positions during her career at the United Nations, lastly as the UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs.

Anastasia Malygina is an Associate Professor at Saint-Petersburg State University. She teaches courses on the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, arms control, and military innovations.