This Article speaks to parties to the treaty with nuclear weapons. It says that they will not spread nuclear weapons and explosives technology to states without nuclear weapons, or encourage their acquisition, and supports the pillar of non-proliferation.
This Article speaks to parties to the treaty without nuclear weapons and goes hand in hand with Article I. Article II also supports the pillar of non-proliferation by saying that states without nuclear weapons will not “receive the transfer from any transferor whatsoever of nuclear weapons,” either directly or indirectly and also states that non-nuclear weapon states will not seek to manufacture nuclear weapons.
Article III as a whole supports the pillar of non-proliferation by discussing the terms by which all non-nuclear weapon states will accept the International Atomic Energy Association’s (IAEA)’s verification and monitoring system in all cases where fissionable material is involved. Furthermore each party to the treaty agrees not to provide fissionable material or nuclear technology to other countries for peaceful purposes unless it’s been subjected to the IAEA’s safeguards. These safeguards must be implemented in a manner so as to not hamper either economic or technological development, or international cooperation in the field of peaceful nuclear activities.
This Article supports the pillar of the peaceful development and use of nuclear technology by noting that the treaty should not be interpreted as affecting the right of any party from either developing or sharing nuclear technology so long as it does not violate Articles I & II.
This Article supports the pillar of non-proliferation by saying that non-proliferated states will be ensured the potential benefits from any peaceful applications of nuclear explosions, whatever they may be, and allows for the receipt of such benefits by international or bilateral agreements.
This Article supports the pillar of disarmament by saying that parties of the treaty with nuclear weapons will pursue negotiations in good faith to eliminate all stockpiles of nuclear weapons as soon as possible.
This Article supports the pillar of disarmament by stating that no part of the treaty affects the right of states to create regional treaties to assure the total disarmament of their respective territories.
These four Articles discuss procedural matters regarding the NPT. Article VIII outlines the amendment process of the NPT and most importantly provides a description of what has become known as the NPT Review Conference; a conference held every five years in Geneva, Switzerland to, “review the operation of this Treaty with a view to ensuring that the purposes of the Preamble and the provisions of the Treaty are being realised.”
Article IX outlines the steps a country must take to ratify the treaty. Article X sets the terms for withdrawal from the treaty and states that the treaty must be renewed by a majority vote of all parties 25 years after its entry into force. In accordance with Article X, a majority of treaty parties voted in May 1995 that the NPT should continue in force indefinitely. Finally, Article XI simply states that the treaty will be made widely available in numerous languages including English, French, Chinese, Spanish, and Russian.
In the next article, we will explore how the parties of the NPT currently seek to achieve the goals set forth in the text above, primarily focusing on use of NPT Review Conferences and the interim preparatory committee meetings to these reviews, known as “PrepComs.”