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The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT)

The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) is the cornerstone of nuclear arms control. It prevents the horror scenario in the global arms race without restricting peaceful use of the atom. Switzerland seeks to give new impetus to the treaty.

Switzerland ratified the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) in 1977. Today, the NPT has over 190 signatory states; it is the cornerstone of nuclear arms control and a key part of the global security architecture. The NPT builds on three pillars: 

  • it commits the five official nuclear powers (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and United States) to disarmament;
  • it provides the legal foundation for the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons;
  • it guarantees the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

The NPT clearly fulfilled its main purpose, namely to avert the horror scenario expected in 1960 with more than 20 states in possession of nuclear weapons. The peaceful use of nuclear energy guaranteed by the NPT, with applications in energy, research, medicine and agriculture, is also a success story. The record on disarmament is more mixed, especially since after a significant reduction in the number of nuclear warheads at the end of the Cold War, current trends are once again heading in the opposite direction.

With a view to the 10th NPT Review Conference, Switzerland is working together with the Stockholm group, calling for concrete and pragmatic disarmament steps based on the Berlin Declaration. A working paper by the group includes a set of stepping stones for advancing nuclear disarmament. A strength of the group lies in the various origins and divergent political backgrounds of its members.

The NPT at 50: Advancing Nuclear Disarmament, Securing Our Future, Government of Sweden

Stepping Stones for Advancing Nuclear Disarmament, Annex to the Berlin Declaration, Government of Sweden

In addition, Switzerland is committed in particular to reducing nuclear weapons risks. 

A Nuclear Risk Reduction Package, Government of Sweden

Last update 26.01.2022