For more than fifty years, the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) has endured as the foundation of a system built on nuclear restraint. For the next two weeks, the United States, led by Special Representative of the President for Nuclear Nonproliferation Adam Scheinman, will join other NPT States Parties for the 2023 Preparatory Committee Meeting (PrepCom) in Vienna to address the top challenges facing the nonproliferation regime and further strengthen the NPT.
The United States stands firm in its commitment to work with States Parties at this Preparatory Committee meeting to ensure the agenda for the 2026 NPT Review Conference takes a balanced approach in addressing the Treaty’s three pillars: nonproliferation, peaceful uses of nuclear energy, and further progress on disarmament.
The challenges we face today serve as a stark reminder of why the NPT is indispensable and remains the cornerstone of the global nuclear nonproliferation regime. Russia’s seizure of Ukraine’s nuclear power facilities poses serious nuclear safety issues and undercuts Ukraine’s right under the NPT to access the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. The People’s Republic of China’s rapid and opaque nuclear weapons expansion continues unabated, and questions remain on Iran’s nuclear program and safeguards compliance. And 20 years after announcing its withdrawal from the NPT, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) continues to develop its nuclear arsenal and engage in threatening rhetoric regarding its use.
The United States and its partners around the world will work to address these challenges and set out a positive agenda for this NPT review cycle. The United States continues to work in good faith to advance all aspects of the treaty, to include the Article VI obligation to pursue good faith negotiations on effective measures relating to nuclear disarmament. We will insist on the fullest compliance with NPT nonproliferation safeguards and call on all NPT Parties to raise standards wherever possible and to condemn violations where they occur. We will also work with our partners to increase access to the benefits of peaceful uses, which are not just limited to nuclear energy, but also include the application of nuclear technologies for human and animal health, water resource management, food security, and much more.
Our top priority for the PrepCom – and for this review cycle – must be to preserve and strengthen this critical treaty, not in spite of the challenges we face but because of them.