Thomas M. Countryman
Assistant Secretary, Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation
Washington, DC
April 28, 2014

Hi everyone, I’m Tom Countryman, the Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation at the U.S. Department of State. I will be heading our U.S. Delegation to the 2014 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Preparatory Committee Meeting, or the NPT PrepCom, at the UN in New York from April 28th to May 9th. This will be the third and final PrepCom leading up to the NPT Review Conference in 2015.

In New York, our delegation will work with representatives from 189 NPT states parties to strengthen the Treaty and set the stage for 2015. The NPT Review Conference is held every five years, and in 2015 we look to build upon the success of the 2010 NPT RevCon, where the conference approved a comprehensive, 64-item Action Plan, the first of its kind in the NPT’s forty-four year history.

The NPT remains the cornerstone of the global nonproliferation regime. The NPT’s three mutually reinforcing pillars focus on 1-) halting the further spread of nuclear weapons 2-) continuing down the path of further reductions in existing nuclear arsenals toward our shared goal of a world without nuclear weapons, and 3-) promoting the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and technology under appropriate safeguards.

President Obama reaffirmed our commitment to the NPT in Prague in 2009 and again in Berlin last year. In Prague the President said, "The basic bargain [embodied in the NPT] is sound… Countries with nuclear weapons will move towards disarmament, countries without nuclear weapons will not acquire them, and all countries can access peaceful nuclear energy."

At this final PrepCom before the 2015 Review Conference, the United States will encourage parties to take stock of progress made in implementing the 2010 Action Plan, identify remaining obstacles, and work to find common ground on ways to overcome them. We look forward to reporting detailed information on our efforts to translate these actions into accomplishments.

Over the course of the PrepCom, the United States will use a variety of ways to present the work we have completed on all three pillars of the NPT in a variety of different ways. For example, we will issue a national report on the steps that we have taken to implement key elements of the 2010 Action Plan that uses a common framework agreed by all five nuclear weapon states. We will also highlight our contributions to International Atomic Energy Agency programs harnessing the peaceful uses of nuclear energy for efforts like fighting disease, improving food security, and managing water resources.

We look forward to highlighting these and other accomplishments, whether from the floor of the UN, in side events with other countries and nongovernmental organizations, or through other activities planned. We do this with one goal in mind: to strengthen the NPT so that it remains a durable norm and bulwark against the further spread of nuclear weapons.

Much has been accomplished, but more work remains. We look forward to making additional progress on this important issue at the PrepCom and 2015 Review Conference. Thank you.