The Non-Proliferation Treaty is a central pillar in global efforts to prevent a destabilising armament competition and, worse still, nuclear war. Chaillot Paper No. 120 analyses the issues affecting the NPT in the lead-up to the 2010 Review Conference that will take place amid rising proliferation concerns and a renewed focus on disarmament.
On 1 April 2009 Russian and US Presidents Dmitry Medvedev and Barack Obama met in London ahead of the G20 meeting on the global financial crisis. Central to their discussions was the resumption of bilateral talks aimed at reducing their respective nuclear weapon arsenals. The agreement to negotiate a successor treaty to the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) was undoubtedly the most tangible outcome of the London meeting.
In a second statement both leaders have also embraced the ultimate goal of comprehensive nuclear disarmament. The idea of a nuclear weapon-free world has become embraced by a wide political spectrum in Europe and the United States, but in Russia recent noises about strategic nuclear rearmament and restoring military parity with the West have drowned out some solitary voices in support of nuclear abolition. Medvedev’s endorsement of this statement signals a broader foundation for future multilateral diplomacy and arms control.