The Nuclear Non‐Proliferation Treaty (NPT), signed in 1968, is a treaty of three main agreements concerning both nuclear weapons states and non‐nuclear weapons states, with the ultimate goal of nuclear disarmament. A number of safeguards and inspections conducted by the IAEA have been set up to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy and until about the time of the Persian Gulf War, the monitoring and inspection regime had been successful. Since the beginning of the 1990s however, the system has been seriously shaken with the non‐compliance of a number of countries and the relevance and effectiveness of the NPT are greatly put into question. A number of tools, however, are at the disposal of the international community to deal with arms control; it is a question of cooperation, effective use of these tools and choice of direction.
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