Over the course of less than a year between August 2022 and May 2023, three major treaties focused on weapons of mass destruction (WMD) have undergone a Review Conference process: the tenth Review Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) in August 2022; the ninth Review Conference of the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), in November and December 2022; and the fifth Review Conference of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), in May 2023.

Although these treaties and their respective Review Conference processes vary, the experiences over 12 months between August 2022 and May 2023 provide an important snapshot of the state of the WMD treaty regime. As such, there is merit in reflecting on these three processes jointly and exploring the commonalities and differences across three agreements dealing with the world’s most destructive weapons, as well as gathering lessons learned for future work in these fields.

To this end, UNIDIR invited the Presidents of the three Review Conferences to provide their reflections on their respective Review Conference processes. This publication brings together insights from Ambassador Gustavo Zlauvinen (Argentina), President of the tenth NPT Review Conference; Ambassador Leonardo Bencini (Italy), President of the ninth BWC Review Conference; and Ambassador Henk Cor Van der Kwast (the Kingdom of the Netherlands) who presided over the fifth CWC Review Conference. The Ambassadors take stock of the preparatory processes and the events that unfolded, and provide reflections for moving forward in the NPT, the BWC and the CWC respectively. Izumi Nakamitsu, High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, provides a foreword. The publication also includes a short summary of findings by the editors.

Citation: Leonardo Bencini, Henk Cor van der Kwast & Gustavo Zlauvinen (2023) “Reflections on Review Conferences: the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty, the Biological Weapons Convention and the Chemical Weapons Convention”, UNIDIR, Geneva. https://doi.org/10.37559/WMD/23/RevCon/01