The Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) is vitally important for the international community as a whole. The NPT has played an unparalleled role in curtailing the nuclear arms race, and it continues to play a role in keeping the world safe. The 2015 Review Conference needed to balance the views of a wide range of states, so consensus was always going to be challenging.
Despite the best efforts of the UK and others, this year’s Review Conference was unable to agree a substantive outcome. Whilst I am disappointed that consensus was not possible, the UK will continue to play an active role in delivering the goals of the NPT. The Treaty is the cornerstone of the non-proliferation regime and today’s outcome does not change that. All Parties remain fully bound by the Treaty’s obligations and the commitments they have made previously.
The previous conference in 2010 agreed an action plan that continues to provide a comprehensive roadmap towards disarmament, non-proliferation and peaceful use of nuclear technology. We have already made significant progress on this. We have continually demonstrated our commitment to a world without nuclear weapons by reducing our nuclear forces by well over 50% since the Cold War and dismantling all of our air delivered nuclear weapons.
In the 2010 UK committed to reducing the number of operational warheads to no more than 120; we have now achieved this as well as cutting the number of warheads carried by our Vanguard submarines to 40. We also remain on course to reduce our total stockpile to no more than 180 warheads by the mid 2020s.