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"Forget the Rest" blog

Authority and Legal Aspects
updated 05/19/10

The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty

Article VI of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, signed on July 1, 1968, requires "each of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a Treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control."1 As of the year 2000, 187 state parties have signed the NPT. The only states not party to the treaty are Cuba, India, Israel, and Pakistan.2 At the 25 year review conference of the Non-Proliferation Treaty the state parties agreed to extend the Treaty indefinitely.

Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice

"On July 8, 1996, the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the judicial branch of the United Nations, issued its advisory opinion, The Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons. The ICJ found 1) that the threat or use of nuclear weapons 'would generally be contrary' to humanitarian and other international law regulating the conduct of warfare, and 2) that under Article VI of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and other international law states are obligated to "bring to a conclusion negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects under strict and effective international control."3

Mandate and Authorization for Citizen Inspections - pursuant to the NPT

1. Article VI, Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
2. Rebecca Johnson, "Acronym Reports: The Non-Proliferation Treaty: Challenging Times", Acronym Report No.13,, The Acronym Institute: London, February 2000.
3. Lawyer's Committee on Nuclear Policy, The International Law Framework for Nuclear Weapon Policy,



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