42nd Anniversary of the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT)

Fact Sheet
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
March 5, 2012

Forty two years ago today, the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) entered into force, becoming a cornerstone of U.S. and international security. The Treaty, the most widely adhered to international nonproliferation and disarmament instrument, also promotes the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. The United States remains steadfast in its support for the NPT. As President Obama has said, the Treaty’s basic bargain is sound and together we must work to strengthen it as a basis for cooperation.

The United States is committed to working with its NPT partners to strengthen implementation of all aspects of the Treaty and the international nuclear nonproliferation regime. To this end, we are working with Russia to implement the New START Treaty, pursuing U.S. ratification and entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, and with our partners in the Conference on Disarmament, working to begin long-overdue negotiations on a verifiable international agreement to halt the production of fissile material for use in nuclear weapons. The United States is partnering with other countries to secure fissile material from theft or misuse, and we look forward to participating in the second Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul later this month. We are also committed to ensuring that the International Atomic Energy Agency has the resources and authority it needs to carry out its vital safeguards responsibilities and that states will stand together to hold states accountable when they violate their nonproliferation obligations.

The United States’ commitment extends to all aspects of the Treaty. Expanding on long-standing U.S. support for the IAEA’s peaceful uses activities, at the 2010 NPT Review Conference Secretary Clinton pledged $50 million in extra-budgetary support for the IAEA’s Peaceful Uses Initiative (PUI), and encouraged other states to help match this contribution. Through the PUI, the United States has already supported numerous IAEA projects related to human health, food security, water resource management, and nuclear power infrastructure development, benefitting over 100 IAEA Member States. We also welcome the establishment of international fuel reserves, which enable states to access peaceful nuclear energy without increasing the risks of proliferation.

At the 2010 NPT Review Conference, the Treaty Parties reached consensus for the first time in a decade on a comprehensive agenda to further the goals of the Treaty. The United States looks forward to engaging with other NPT State Parties this spring at the first meeting of the Preparatory Committee for the 2015 Review Conference to consider ways to sustain and build on the Action Plan adopted in 2010.

As an essential part of our continued pursuit of President Obama’s commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons, the United States looks forward to continuing to work constructively with our global partners to strengthen all aspects of the NPT.

PRN: 2012/333