On March 10, at 17:00 Moscow time (GMT+3), the Valdai Club will host an expert discussion dedicated to the 52nd anniversary of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), titled “NPT in the 21st Century: Is the World on the Eve of a Nuclear War?”
The NPT has become the main multilateral international act aimed at limiting the group of countries possessing nuclear weapons. Adopted in 1968, it was designed to ensure international control over the obligations to limit the possibility of an armed conflict with the use of nuclear weapons.
The long and fruitful life of the NPT allows us to positively assess its effectiveness. A step towards the non-proliferation regime could be the revival of the Iranian nuclear deal, which is expected to be finalised in the very near future. However, the number of challenges to the non-proliferation regime grows every year. Due to the fact that Israel, India, Pakistan, North Korea and South Sudan did not become parties to the treaty, there are still risks of nuclear proliferation and a war involving their use. Of particular danger to peace and stability in Europe is the possible intention of Ukraine to initiate its own nuclear weapons development programme. Other challenges include the consistent collapse of the arms control system at the initiative of the United States, as well as the presence of American nuclear weapons on the territory of a number of non-nuclear European countries.
Alarm signals are also coming from other regions of the world. As part of the new military alliance AUKUS, the US and the UK plan to transfer technology to Australia to produce its own nuclear submarines. This could set a dangerous precedent and start an arms race in the Pacific.
What challenges pose the greatest threat to the non-proliferation regime and international security in general? What measures to strengthen the non-proliferation regime can be taken at the moment? How much has the risk of nuclear war increased in recent years? Participants of the expert discussion will answer these and other questions.
Igor Vishnevetsky, Deputy Director, Department for Non-Proliferation and Arms Control, Russian Foreign Ministry;
Anton Khlopkov, director of the Centre for Energy and Security;
Robert Legvold, Marshall D. Shulman Professor Emeritus, Columbia University, and Director of the Euro-Atlantic Security Initiative;
Rakesh Sood, Distinguished Fellow, Observer Research Foundation, Permanent Representative of India to the UN Conference on Disarmament (2013-2014), Ambassador to the Conference on Disarmament (2001-04), Ambassador to Afghanistan (2005-08), Ambassador to Nepal (2008-11), Ambassador to France (2011-13), Special Envoy of the Prime Minister for Disarmament and Non-proliferation (2013-14);
Kayhan Barzegar, Director of the Institute for Middle East Strategic Studies in Tehran.