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Nuclear vault: 40th anniversary of Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty

On 1 July 1968, the United States, the United Kingdom, the former Soviet Union, and over 50 other countries signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), one of the most significant multilateral arms control achievements of the nuclear age. Today, 187 countries have joined the treaty and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is entrusted with the key role as the international safeguards inspectorate.

To commemorate the fortieth anniversary of the signing of the Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), the National Security Archive has opened up the nuclear vault and published their briefing book, “The Impulse towards a Safer World”, a thorough and intriguing history of “one of the most significant multilateral arms control achievements of the nuclear age” along with declassified U.S. government documents on the process of negotiations. The documents highlight…

…the dialogue between and among U.S. officials (negotiators, diplomats, and policymakers) and representatives of Asian-Pacific, European, and Latin American governments, these documents highlight the range of problems that made the U.S., the Soviet Union, and other governments want to negotiate an NPT, but also which it so difficult to negotiate and to win unanimous adherence to the nonproliferation system.