Belarus joins the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty as a non-nuclear weapons state.

International Security Index iSi




“Autonomous systems are gradually displacing humans from the battlefield, and in many aspects, this can be a boon to the military, who are exposed to less risk. However, at the same time, humans transfer to artificial intelligence (AI) a part of their powers, and consequently a part of their responsibility. According to experts, neural networks will probably never learn to explain their decisions to humans. This can become a serious problem once AI is involved in such areas as intelligence, data analysis, communications and control, scenario development, and in the long run decision making.” – Director of PIR Center’s Emerging Technologies and Global Security Project Vadim Kozyulin.


“The latest prepcom has two main opposite results: in two weeks it was not possible to reach consensus among the NPT members and agree on the text of recommendations for the 2020 Review Conference, but it was decided to appoint Argentinean diplomat Rafael Mariano Grossi as the Chair of the Review Conference – his formal appointment will take place at the end of 2019," Adlan Margoev, PIR Center “Russia and Nuclear Nonproliferation” Program Director. 


On May 2, more than 40 friends and partners of the PIR Center gathered at the Permanent Mission of Russia to the UN. Among them were heads and high representatives of delegations participating in the third session of the Preparatory Committee of the NPT Review Conference, the world's largest experts in the field of non-proliferation, graduates of PIR Center programs working in New York, young scientists and master students of double degree in the field of non-proliferation.

Introduction to Nuclear Nonproliferation Regime

Introduction to Nuclear Nonproliferation Regime

(2 credits)

The course program developed by Dr. Vladimir A. Orlov, PIR Center, 2018.

The course instructor: Dr. Vladimir A. Orlov, with participation of Dr. Bruce Allyn, Ms. Cynthia Lazaroff, Mr. Adlan Margoev


1.1     The place and role of the course in the program of study:

The course “Introduction to Nuclear Nonproliferation” aims at providing knowledge on international nonproliferation regime of nuclear weapons as a complex system within the global security context. It is an introduction to the whole system of nuclear nonproliferation-related treaties, agreements, and arrangements, providing both basic definitions and major issues for discussion. The course introduces contemporary vision of nuclear proliferation as the key threat to global security of the 21th century and provides comparative analysis of different types of weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear, chemical, and biological, as well as their means of delivery.

The course goals and objectives:

The main goal of the course is to provide students with definition of nuclear nonproliferation and with basic knowledge of key elements of the international nuclear nonproliferation regime and its major problems.

Course objectives:

  1. To introduce basic concepts and theories in nuclear nonproliferation studies.
  2. To orient students to understand the structure of emerging complex system of nuclear nonproliferation regime, in particular, related to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT).
  3. To provide students with methodology of applied political analysis of the current nuclear nonproliferation issues.

1.2     Learning outcomes:

Classes are generally held to promote discussion on contested security questions.

Teaching methods used include lectures, consultations, seminars discussions and students’ seminar presentations.

By the end of this course students should be able to:

  1. Apply basic theoretical approaches to nuclear nonproliferation in explaining current security situations.
  2. Understand why nuclear proliferation is considered the key threat to global security in the 21st century
  3. Assess the efficiencies and deficiencies of the existing political and legal frameworks of nuclear nonproliferation.
  4.  Give reasons to the prospects of nuclear nonproliferation regime
  5. Search literature on nuclear nonproliferation issues, distinguish between authoritative and unreliable sources on these issues.


Course requirements:

Students will be required to attend no less than 90% of classes and to be prepared for class discussions. Conscientious reading of the assigned materials is compulsory. All students are required to participate in seminar discussions. All students will have two provisional oral tests during the course to assess (provisionally) their familiarity with the course material, including lectures and readings. These tests will be implemented in the format of debates and simulations.  Students will also be required to prepare one presentation and to present in due time.

Students of the WMD Nonproliferation program take final oral exam.

Grading plan:  

WMD Nonproliferation program



Class active participation (15 classes*2 points)




Oral exam





Lecturer has a right to assign additional 10 points at his discretion.

Presentations (requirements): 10 min oral presentation accompanied with Power Point presentation. 

Requirements for the simulations and debates will be distributed separately 2 weeks in advance. If participating students have any questions about these requirements, they should consult with the instructor.


Course outline & Literature (available in pdf)


Slides in pdf

Lecture 1. September 12, 2018. Weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems: the basics 

Lecture 2. September 12, 2018. Basic concepts in nuclear nonproliferation studies. Review of leading international institutions dealing with nonproliferation

Lecture 3. September 19, 2018. Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (1968) and its role in global security architecture 

Lecture 4-5. September 26, 2018. Evolution of the nuclear nonproliferation regime: 1960s - 2010s

Role Play Simulation. October 3, 2018. Cuban Missile Crisis and Use of Nuclear Weapons

Lecture 6. October 10, 2018. NPT review process. NPT extension (1995). Major decisions of the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference. NPT review conferences of 2000, 2005, and 2010

Lecture 7. October 10, 2018. NPT review process. NPT review conference of 2015. NPT review process  in 2017-2018 and prospects for 2019

Lecture 8. October 17, 2018. Contemporary problems facing the nuclear nonproliferation regime