The Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) at 50 - virtual roundtable

This event will be in Zoom


  • Ignacio Cartagena Núñez (Consul General, Spanish Consulate, Edinburgh)


  • Laura Considine (University of Leeds)
  • Megan Dee (University of Stirling)
  • Hassan Elbahtimy (King's College London)
  • Ben Kienzle (King's College London)
  • Clara Portela (EU Institute for Security Studies)
  • Nick Ritchie (University of York)

The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) has long been considered the cornerstone of the global nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament regime. Spanning three pillars of activity, including nuclear disarmament, nuclear non-proliferation, and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, the NPT is grounded on a Grand Bargain that sees its majority non-nuclear-armed States Parties commit to not develop nuclear weapons, on the premise that the P-5 nuclear-armed states agree to steps towards eventual nuclear disarmament.

2020 marks the NPT’s 50th anniversary of its entry into force, yet the issues facing the NPT at 50 capture a plethora of both long-standing and more recent political and security challenges. These include a rumbling discontent over the effectiveness of the NPT and other nuclear disarmament negotiating forums, discord centring on the recent Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, deep concerns over the demise of the INF Treaty, fraught relations between the US and Russia over the START-II negotiations, the US withdrawal from the JCPOA, and ongoing nuclear proliferation concerns in both Iran and North Korea.

This roundtable brings together leading and early-career researchers specialising in global nuclear politics and diplomacy. Chaired by Spain’s former Ambassador to the Conference on Disarmament, this roundtable brings together speakers from across the UK and Europe specialising in the politics, issues, and actors currently shaping the NPT. Discussants will not only address the major challenges impacting the NPT as it turns 50, but reflect on the key actors involved, including both individual States Parties and group players, and crucially, the ‘what next’ for the NPT moving forward.

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