Nuclear weapons modernisation concerns almost 90% of UN member states

The latest NIS publication gives an overview of the attitudes of states without nuclear weapons to the modernisation programmes of the states that possess nuclear weapons. This briefing compiles all the official statements on the subject in Review Conferences and Preparatory Committees for the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) since 2015, and in the Open Ended Working Group and negotiations for the Treaty for the Prohibiton of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) which came into force in January 2021.

The study shows a consistently high level of concern about the issue from non-nuclear weapon states, and that nuclear-weapon states have also voiced concern about each others’ modernisation programmes. A total of 172 of the 193 UN member states have been party to individual or group statements that treated the issue as a problem.

The briefing comes ahead of the postponed 2020 NPT Review Conference which marks 50 years of that treaty and where the issue of modernisation is likely to prove highly contentious.

Download the PDF below or order a free hard copy (limited availability). NB: If you ordered this briefing earlier in the year, it’s coming! – No need to order again.

A webinar discussion on the initial findings was held in March 2021 with the author Sanem Topal, the editor David Cullen and guest contributors from ICAN and BASIC.

We welcome your questions, feedback or comments on this briefing at office (at)


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