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Nuclear Non-Proliferation

Chronology of Key Events

(July 1945 - Present)

Reflected here are events in chronological order related to nuclear non-proliferation.

2000 - 2009


2 - 27 May 2005: The Seventh Review Conference of the States Parties to the NPT convened in New York.

29 November 2004: The IAEA Board of Governors adopts a resolution, noting with interest the agreement between Iran, France, Germany and the United Kingdom, and welcoming the fact that Iran had decided to continue and extend its suspension of all enrichment related and reprocessing activities.

15 November 2004: Iran signs an agreement with France, Germany and the United Kingdom, in which Iran states its decision to continue and extend its suspension of all enrichment related and reprocessing activities.

23 September 2004: The second Joint Ministerial Statement on the CTBT is launched.

10 March 2004: Libya signs the Additional Protocol with the IAEA.

6 January 2004: Libya ratifies the CTBT and accedes to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC).

19 December 2003: Libya announces that it would dismantle its WMD programmes, disclose all relevant information about those programmes, and allow IAEA inspectors to verify its compliance.

18 December 2003: Iran signs the Additional Protocol to its IAEA safeguards agreement.

26 November 2003: Following a report of 10 November, the IAEA Board of Governors adopts a resolution condemning Iran´s pursuit of clandestine nuclear activities in violation of its IAEA safeguards agreement (GOV/2003/81).

23 September 2003: The Foreign Ministers of the NAC issue a joint statement in which they renew their commitment to achieve a world free from nuclear weapons.

11 September 2003: Following the initiative of the United States of 31 May 2003, 10 other states join the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) and issue a statement on Interdiction Principles. To enhance efforts to prevent the proliferation of WMD, their delivery systems, and related materials on the ground, in the air and at sea to and from countries of proliferation concern, PSI envisions partnerships of states employing their national capabilities to develop a broad range of legal, diplomatic, economic, military and other tools to interdict shipments of such items.

3 - 5 September 2003: The third Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the CTBT is held in Vienna and adopts a Final Declaration.

16 June 2003: The IAEA Board of Governors discusses the nuclear programme of Iran, disclosing that Iran had failed to report certain nuclear material and activities.

1 June 2003: The SORT enters into force.

5 May 2003: Timor Leste accedes to the NPT.

10 January 2003: The Democratic People´s Republic of Korea announces its withdrawal from the NPT.

25 November 2002: The Hague Code of Conduct Against Ballistic Missile Proliferation (HCOC) is launched.

4 November 2002: Cuba accedes to the NPT as a non-nuclear-weapon State.

14 September 2002: The first Joint Ministerial Statement on the CTBT is launched.

26 - 27 June 2002: The leaders of the Group of Eight Nations (G8) announce the Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction at their summit in Kananaskis, Canada. Participants pledge to raise up to USD 20 billion over the next 10 years to combat the threat of WMD. Additionally, the G8 leaders agree on a comprehensive set of non-proliferation principles and a specific set of guidelines for new or expanded cooperation projects to address non-proliferation, disarmament, counter-terrorism and nuclear safety issues.

13 June 2002: Following the announcement on 13 December 2001, the United States withdraws from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM).

24 May 2002: The Russian Federation and the United States sign the "Treaty on Strategic Offensive Reductions" (SORT) at the Moscow Summit ("Moscow Treaty"), agreeing upon reducing and limiting their respective strategic nuclear warheads to an aggregate number of 1700-2200 for each Party by 31 December 2012.

5 December 2001: The Russian Federation and the United States have completed reductions of their respective nuclear arsenals to the levels required under START I.

11 - 13 November 2001: The second Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty is held in New York and adopts a Final Declaration.

2 November 2001: The IAEA holds a Special Session on Combating Nuclear Terrorism, addressing among others the issue of assistance to States in that matter, and to reinforce international programmes for nuclear security and safety.

18 June 2001: The Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management enters into force.

31 May 2001: The Russian Federation and the United States conduct the final inspection pursuant to the provisions of the INF Treaty.

10 - 11 May 2001: The Nuclear Suppliers Group meeting in Aspen, Colorado, establishes a standing intersessional body, the Consultative Group, tasked to hold consultations on issues associated with its Guidelines on nuclear supply and the technical annexes. The NSG also agrees to amend the Guidelines on nuclear supply and the technical annexes to increase clarity on current policies and conditions of supply.

13 September 2000: The Foreign Ministers of Brazil, Egypt, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa and Sweden (New Agenda Coalition) issue a communiqué on their meeting to review progress in their joint initiative "Towards a Nuclear-Weapon-Free World: The Need for a New Agenda."

4 May 2000: The Russian Federation ratifies START II.

24 April - 19 May 2000: The Sixth Review Conference of the States Parties to the NPT is held in New York. The Conference adopted a Final Document which in a balanced way reviews the operation of the Treaty, taking into account the decisions and the resolution adopted by the 1995 Review and Extension Conference, and sets out a number of practical steps to be achieved in the future. Furthermore, it also contains undertakings by the States parties on "improving the effectiveness of the strengthened review process of the Treaty."

1990 - 1999


6 - 8 October 1999: The First Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the CTBT is held in Vienna and adopts a Final Declaration.

25 July 1999: The Tokyo Forum for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament issues its report.

June 1999: The United States and the Russian Federation agree to engage in discussions on START III negotiations.

4 December 1998: The General Assembly adopts resolution A/53/584 on "Mongolia´s international security and nuclear-weaponfree status" by consensus.

18 September 1998: Brazil accedes to the NPT.

11 August 1998: The Conference on Disarmament establishes an ad hoc committee to commence negotiations on a treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices (CD/1547).

9 June 1998: Foreign Ministers of Brazil, Egypt, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, Slovenia, South Africa and Sweden issue a joint declaration entitled "Towards a nuclear-weaponfree world: the need for a new agenda", calling upon States to commit themselves to the elimination of their nuclear weapons or nuclear weapons capability.

6 June 1998: The Security Council, by its resolution 1172 (1998), condemns the nuclear tests conducted by India and Pakistan as a threat to global nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament. The resolution urges the countries to become parties to the NPT without delay or conditions.

May 1998: Pakistan tests its nuclear devices on 28 and 30 May.

May 1998: India tests its nuclear devices on 11 and 13 May.

27 March 1997: The Treaty on the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone (the Bangkok Treaty) enters into force.

16 May 1997: The IAEA Board of Governors approves the Model Additional Protocol (INFCIRC/540), which is aimed at strengthening safeguards.

19 November 1996: The Preparatory Commission for the CTBT Organization is established with its Headquarters in Vienna.

24 September 1996: The CTBT is opened for signature in New York. Seventy-one States, including all five nuclear-weapon States, sign the Treaty on that day.

10 September 1996: The General Assembly adopts the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) by a vote of 158 to 3, with 5 abstentions.

14 August 1996: The Canberra Commission on the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons issues its report.

29 July 1996: China declares a moratorium on nuclear testing.

8 July 1996: The International Court of Justice issues an advisory opinion on the legality of the threat or use of nuclear weapons. The Court agreed unanimously that the threat or use of force by means of nuclear weapons that was contrary to article 2, paragraph 4 (refraining from the threat or use of force) of the Charter and did not meet the requirements of article 51 (inherent right of individual or collective self-defence) was unlawful, and that such threat or use of force should be compatible with international law applicable in armed conflict. It split evenly, in favour and against, on the decision that it could not conclude definitively whether the threat or use of nuclear weapons would be lawful in all circumstances. It decided unanimously that "there exists an obligation to... bring to a conclusion negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament".

19 - 20 April 1996: The Summit on Nuclear Safety and Security is held in Moscow.

11 April 1996: The The African Nuclear-Weapon-Free-Zone Treaty (the Pelindaba Treaty) is opened for signature.

29 January 1996: France declares a moratorium on nuclear testing.

26 January 1996: The US Senate ratifies START II with an overwhelming majority and without amendment.

15 December 1995: The Treaty on the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone (the Bangkok Treaty) is opened for signature.

9 December 1995: The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies is agreed to by 33 States.

17 April - 12 May 1995: The Review and Extension Conference of the Parties to the NPT convenes. The NPT is indefinitely extended and decisions on "Strengthening the review process for the Treaty", "Principles and objectives on nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament" and a "Resolution on the Middle East" are adopted without a vote.

11 April 1995: The Security Council adopts resolution 984 (1995) on security assurances to non-nuclear-weapon States that are parties to the NPT.

5 December 1994: Ukraine accedes to the NPT as a non-nuclear-weapon State.

20 September 1994: The International Convention on Nuclear Safety is opened for signature in Vienna (INFCIRC/449 and INFCIRC/449/Add.1).

14 February 1994: Kazakhstan accedes to the NPT as a non-nuclearweapon State.

February 1994: Negotiations on a comprehensive nuclear-test-ban treaty begin in the Conference on Disarmament. Consultations begin in the Conference on Disarmament regarding a mandate to negotiate a treaty on the prohibition of the production of fissile material for weapons purposes.

10 August 1993: The Conference on Disarmament decides to give its Ad Hoc Committee on a Nuclear Test Ban a mandate to negotiate a comprehensive nuclear-test-ban treaty. A special meeting (informal) of the Amendment Conference of the Partial Test-Ban Treaty is held in New York.

1 April 1993: The Nuclear Suppliers Group, meeting in Lucerne, Switzerland, revises the 1977 London Guidelines for Nuclear Transfers.

9 February 1993: Belarus accedes to the NPT as a non-nuclear-weapon State.

3 January 1993: The United States and the Russian Federation sign the Treaty on Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (the START II Treaty), by which they undertake to further significantly reduce their nuclear arsenals.

27 October 1992: The UN Secretary-General submits to the First Committee of the General Assembly his report entitled New Dimensions of Arms Regulation and Disarmament in the Post-cold War Era, in which he refers to the NPT as providing an indispensable framework for global non-proliferation efforts.

2 August 1992: France accedes to the NPT.

23 May 1992: The Lisbon Protocol to the START I Treaty is signed by Belarus, Kazakhstan, the Russian Federation and Ukraine, as successor States of the former USSR in connection with the Treaty, and by the United States. By the Protocol, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine undertake to adhere to the NPT as non-nuclear-weapon States in the shortest possible time.

3 April 1992: The Nuclear Suppliers Group, meeting in Warsaw, revises its Guidelines for Transfers of Nuclear-related Dualuse Equipment, Material and Related Technology, requiring full-scope safeguards as a condition of export.

9 March 1992: China accedes to the NPT.

31 January 1992: At the meeting of the Security Council held at the level of Heads of State or Government, the Council emphasizes that the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction constitutes a threat to international peace and security.

September - October 1991: The United States and the USSR make unilateral announcements of further reductions and other measures for their respective nuclear arsenals.

31 July 1991: The United States and the USSR sign the Treaty on the Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (the START I Treaty), by which the two sides undertake to reduce their nuclear weapons from their current levels of between 10,000 and 11,000 weapons to between 8,000 and 9,000 weapons.

18 July 1991: Argentina and Brazil establish the Brazilian-Argentine Agency for Accounting and Control of Nuclear Materials.

10 July 1991: South Africa accedes to the Non-Proliferation Treaty as a non-nuclear-weapon State after terminating its nuclear weapons programme.

7 - 18 January 1991: The Amendment Conference of the States Parties to the Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapon Tests in the Atmosphere, in Outer Space and under Water convenes in New York.

20 August - 14 September 1990: The Fourth NPT Review Conference is held in Geneva. The Conference is unable to adopt a Final Declaration.

1 June 1990: The United States and the USSR sign verification Protocols to the 1974 Threshold Test-Ban Treaty and the 1976 Peaceful Nuclear Explosions Treaty.

1980 - 1989


8 December 1987: The United States and the USSR sign the Treaty on the Elimination of Their Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles (the INF Treaty).

30 November 1987: The General Assembly, by its resolution 42/38 C in conjunction with resolution 41/59 N, establishes a system for an annual register of data on nuclear explosions to be submitted to it by the Secretary-General following notification of such tests by Member States.

16 April 1987: The Missile Technology Control Regime, established by seven industrialized countries, establishes guidelines for sensitive missile-relevant transfers.

23 March - 10 April 1987: The UN Conference for the Promotion of International Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy is held in Geneva, but is unable to reach agreement on principles for international cooperation that would promote the objectives of the full utilization of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes and the prevention of the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

27 August - 21 September 1985: The Third NPT Review Conference is held in Geneva. The Conference adopts a Final Declaration by consensus.

6 August 1985: The South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone Treaty (the Treaty of Rarotonga) is opened for signature.

7 June - 10 July 1982: The General Assembly holds its second special session devoted to disarmament in New York. At the special session, China, France and the USSR update their unilateral declarations regarding security assurances to non-nuclear-weapon States.

11 August - 7 September 1980: The Second NPT Review Conference is held in Geneva. The Conference is unable to agree on a Final Declaration.

3 March 1980: The Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material is opened for signature in Vienna and New York; the Convention applies to nuclear material used for peaceful purposes while in international nuclear transport (INFCIRC/274/Rev.1).

1970 - 1979


18 June 1979: The United States and the USSR sign the Treaty on the Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (referred to as SALT II).

23 May - 30 June 1978: The General Assembly holds its tenth special session — the first special session devoted to disarmament — in New York. The session ends with the adoption by consensus of a Final Document.

At the special session and later in the year at the General Assembly session, the five nuclear-weapon States make unilateral declarations establishing criteria for granting security assurances to non-nuclear- weapon States.

21 September 1977: Fifteen nuclear supplier countries, known as the Nuclear Suppliers Group or the London Club, reach agreement in London on a set of principles and guidelines to govern the transfer of nuclear materials, equipment and technology. The suppliers´ policies are based on a "trigger list" of nuclear and other materials for which certain conditions would have to be met before they would be exported.

28 May 1976: The United States and the USSR sign the Treaty on Underground Nuclear Explosions for Peaceful Purposes (the Peaceful Nuclear Explosions Treaty).

5 - 30 May 1975: The First Review Conference of the Parties to the NPT is held in Geneva. The Conference adopts a Final Declaration by consensus.

3 July 1974: The United States and the USSR sign the Treaty on the Limitation of Underground Nuclear Weapon Tests (the Threshold Test-Ban Treaty).

18 May 1974: India conducted a peaceful nuclear explosion.

26 May 1972: The United States and the USSR sign two agreements to halt the growth in their strategic arms: the Treaty on the Limitation of Anti-Ballistic Missile Systems (the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty) and the Interim Agreement on Certain Measures with respect to the Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms. These agreements are referred to as SALT I.

11 February 1971: The Treaty on the Prohibition of the Emplacement of Nuclear Weapons and Other Weapons of Mass Destruction on the Sea-Bed and the Ocean Floor and in the Subsoil Thereof (the Sea-Bed Treaty) is opened for signature.

5 March 1970: The NPT enters into force. The IAEA establishes its safeguards system for NPT parties.

1960 - 1969


16 September 1968: The IAEA revises its safeguards system with further additional provisions for safeguarded nuclear material in conversion plants and fabrication plants.

1 July 1968: The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (also known as the Non-Proliferation Treaty, or the NPT) is opened for signature in London, Moscow and Washington—the United Kingdom, the USSR and the United States having been designated the depositary Governments.

19 June 1968: The UN Security Council adopts resolution 255 (1968) on security assurances to non-nuclear-weapon States parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

12 June 1968: After further revision—concerning mainly the preamble and articles IV and V—the General Assembly commends the draft text of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, which is annexed to Assembly resolution 2373 (XXII).

January - March 1968: The Eighteen-Nation Committee on Disarmament examines further revisions of the draft treaty texts submitted by the USSR and the United States, which incorporate some of the suggestions of the non-nuclearweapon States, and submits another revision to the General Assembly at its resumed twenty-second session.

1 January 1968: The Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM) enters into force.

19 December 1967: The General Assembly adopts resolution 2346 A (XXII), in which it requests the Eighteen-Nation Committee on Disarmament to present it with a full report on the negotiations on a non-proliferation treaty on or before 15 March 1968.

August 1967: The Eighteen-Nation Committee on Disarmament considers two separate but identical draft texts of a non-proliferation treaty, submitted by the USSR and the United States, as well as a number of amendments submitted by other members.

14 February 1967: The Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (the Treaty of Tlatelolco) is opened for signature in Mexico City. The Treaty establishes the first nuclear-weapon-free zone in a densely populated region, and creates the Agency for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (OPANAL) to oversee its implementation.

27 January 1967: The Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies (the Outer Space Treaty) is opened for signature (A/RES/2222 (XI), annex). The Treaty prohibits the placing of nuclear weapons or any other weapons of mass destruction in outer space, stipulating that that environment shall be used exclusively for peaceful purposes.

November 1966: The General Assembly adopts two resolutions on nonproliferation: resolution 2149 (XXI), by which it appeals to all States, pending conclusion of a nuclear nonproliferation treaty, to renounce actions that might hamper agreement on such a treaty, and resolution 2153 A (XXI), in which it calls upon the Eighteen-Nation Committee on Disarmament to give priority to the question of non-proliferation and also to consider the question of assurances to non-nuclear-weapon States.

1965: The IAEA revises its safeguards system.

19 November 1965: On the initiative of eight non-aligned States, the General Assembly adopts resolution 2028 (XX), which contains five principles on which negotiation of a nonproliferation treaty is to be based.

24 September 1965: The USSR submits to the General Assembly a draft treaty to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons.

17 August 1965: The United States submits to the Eighteen-Nation Committee on Disarmament a draft treaty to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons.

16 October 1964: China tested its first nuclear bomb.

5 August 1963: The Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapon Tests in the Atmosphere, in Outer Space and under Water (the Partial Test-Ban Treaty) is signed by the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and the United States. On 8 August, it is opened for signature in Moscow, London and Washington.

4 December 1961: On the initiative of Sweden, the General Assembly adopts resolution 1664 (XVI), by which it requests the Secretary-General to inquire under what conditions States not possessing nuclear weapons would be willing to undertake not to acquire them.

Upon the initiative of Ireland, the General Assembly adopts, without a vote, resolution 1665 (XVI), by which it calls upon the nuclear-weapon States in particular to endeavour to conclude an international agreement on non-dissemination of nuclear weapons and upon all States to cooperate for this purpose.

1961: The IAEA establishes its first safeguards system.

20 December 1960: On the initiative of Ireland, the General Assembly adopts resolution 1576 (XV), by which it calls upon both nuclear- and non-nuclear-weapon States, pending agreement on the prevention of wider dissemination of nuclear weapons, to refrain, as a temporary and voluntary measure, from acts that would lead to further proliferation.

13 February 1960: France tested its first nuclear bomb.

1950 - 1959


1 December 1959: The Antarctic Treaty is signed in Washington, stipulating that Antarctica shall be used for peaceful purposes only. It prohibits any measures of a military nature, including the testing of any type of weapons.

20 November 1959: On the initiative of Ireland, the UN General Assembly adopts resolution 1380 (XIV), by which it suggests that the Ten-Nation Disarmament Committee consider the feasibility of an international agreement by which the nuclear-weapon Powers would not hand over control of those weapons to other Powers, and non-nuclear-weapon States would not manufacture such weapons.

29 July 1957: The Statute of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), opened for signature on 26 October 1956, comes into force. The Agency is established to facilitate the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, while ensuring that the assistance the Agency provides will not be used for military purposes.

25 March 1957: The Treaty formally establishing the European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM) is signed in Rome.

3 October 1952: The United Kingdom tested its first nuclear bomb.

1940 - 1949


29 August 1949: The Soviet Union tested its first nuclear bomb.

August 1945: Atom bombs were dropped on Hiroshima (6 August) and Nagasaki (9 August).

16 July 1945: The United States successfully tested its first nuclear bomb.