On July 1, 1968 the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty was opened for signature. Over the next 25 years, the treaty was signed and ratified by all five Nuclear Weapons States. France and the People's Republic of China were the last of the five to sign in 1992, while Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States signed in 1968. As of March 2002, 182 other nations have signed this treaty in an effort to make this world a safer community by limiting the transfer and creation of nuclear weapons. Certified copies of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in English, French, Russian, Chinese and Spanish are held on deposit by the Depositary Nations as proclaimed in Article 102 of the United Nations Charter. Those Depositary Nations are the Russian Federation, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America.
As an authoring agent of this world unifying treaty, the United State of America joined with Russia and Great Britain in signing this hope for the future on the first day of July 1968. With this great nation's history of selective application and enforcement of numerous other treaties to which our Presidents have signed their name, it becomes feasible to ask if the United States has followed its own advice and remained true to this great and important document. With 35 years having passed between that auspicious day and this one, we are at a privileged position to look back and weigh the decisions of the last seven Presidents against the words Richard Nixon ratified in 1969. However close this entire history may be, I intend to concentrate on the last 4 years. I seek to know how the United States has honored the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty since the current President took the oath of office. .
Before the discussion begins in earnest, it is necessary to understand what the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty entails to those countries that have acceded.