The NPT needs a common understanding of ‘nuclear threats’: Questions and tasks for the 11th NPT Review Cycle

A comment by Maren Vieluf and Ananya Agustin Malhotra on the upcoming challenges for the 11th NPT Review Cycle

February 27, 2024

States parties to the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) met in Vienna last summer for the Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) to the 2026 NPT Review Conference (RevCon). In advance, member states were invited to a Working Group on strengthening the review process. These first three weeks of meetings in this 11th NPT review cycle ended with the working group not adopting joint recommendations and some state parties (namely Iran, Russia, and China) blocking the PrepCom chair’s efforts to issue the official summary of the meeting as a working paper. In the absence of consensus documents, the pressure on this review cycle to produce tangible results is as urgent as ever. Preventing nuclear use and threat of use, which is in all NPT states’ interests, should be the first priority of the 11th NPT Review Cycle.