16 Jul 2012 - 16 Sep 2012

The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and Disarmament Online Course

The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and Disarmament Online Course, 16 July - 16 September 2012

The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and Disarmament Online Course


Cost: Cost: EUR 600 / CHF 725. Applicants are required to pay full fees upon official acceptance to the course via bank transfer or PayPal (see Payment Information for details). Discounts are available for more than one participant from the same institution.
Application deadline: 11/06/2012

With growing calls to make the process of nuclear disarmament comprehensive and irreversible, the resurgence and the need to sustain nuclear arms control diplomacy, the persistence of unresolved nuclear proliferation issues (including in Iran and North Korea), and the desire for nuclear energy, coupled with safety and security concerns, the 40-year old Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) remains central to the prospects for disarmament, arms control and international security.

Familiarity with the NPT is increasingly indispensable for practitioners and analysts to navigate their way through current and future nuclear issues, whether in the context of the NPT itself, or of other disarmament fora and organisations such as the Conference on Disarmament, the UN General Assembly, or the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP), in collaboration with DiploFoundation , is pleased to offer a unique opportunity to learn more about the NPT and disarmament through this online course.




The eight-week course is designed to familiarise participants with the provisions, history and complexities of the NPT and its relationship to disarmament in particular. Each week of the course is structured around one of the major themes of the NPT, and provides a detailed analysis of the corresponding Treaty provisions, as follows:

  • Introduction to the NPT
  • Don’t Give, Don’t Take, Don’t Make Nuclear Weapons: The NPT’s Non- Proliferation Commandments
  • Verifying Treaty Commitments: The NPT and the IAEA
  • Peaceful Use of Nuclear Energy
  • Nuclear Disarmament and Nuclear-Weapon-Free-Zones
  • The Life of the Treaty: Duration, Withdrawal, Review and Extension
  • Missing Links in the Treaty and Additions to the Non-Proliferation Regime
  • Conclusions and Prospects



The aim is to provide participants with a mix of factual information (both current and historical, substantive and procedural) and of elements for debate, to familiarise them with the main purposes of the NPT, the multilateral process of its implementation and review, the main issues at stake and, naturally, the contents of the Treaty itself. The course thus aims to build participants’ knowledge and nurture their own views on issues including:

  • The intricacies of the NPT text and its negotiating history;
  • The complex balance of obligations for nuclear and non-nuclear member-states;
  • The political importance of different interpretations of the Treaty;
  • The track record of treaty implementation and compliance;
  • The role - and shortcomings - of the NPT in shaping international security and disarmament;
  • The current and future challenges to the NPT regime, and to non-proliferation and disarmament broadly.



The course is designed with DiploFoundation, and prepared and directed by Dr W. Pal Sidhu , Associate Fellow and Head of the Disarmament Programme at the GCSP and former consultant to the United Na­tions Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR). Dr Barbara Zanchetta , Visiting Fellow at the GCSP and Researcher at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs (FIIA) is the co-director of the course. The course also benefits from the insights of experienced practitioners and experts of multilateral nuclear diplomacy, who will from time to time take part as guest lecturers in online discussions and panels.



This eight-week course is conducted entirely on­line, making the GCSP’s learning environment accessible to non-residential participants through web-based techniques developed by DiploFoun­dation.

The course methodology is highly interactive. Each week, participants read an assigned lecture text, adding questions and comments as hypertext entries. Course lecturers and fellow-participants read and respond to the entries, creating interaction and discussion based on the lecture text. Participants and lecturers also share information and exchange views on current issues which are introduced in the course blog.

At the end of each week, participants, lecturers and expert guests meet in a live online chat session for further clarification and discussion. Participants also carry out written assignments that are commented on individually by the course lecturers. In sum, it is expected that participants will devote at least 5 hours of study time per week to the course. Participants who fulfil course requirements will receive a certificate of completion from the GCSP.


Target Audience

Mid-career government officials, diplomats, military officers, international civil servants, NGO staff, students and academics.

This course is intended for participants wishing to acquire a solid knowledge base and develop their own thinking on the NPT and the international security issues addressed by the regime.

As a part-time online course allowing participants flexibility in arranging their schedule, this should be particularly suited for practicing diplomats, military officers and other government officials preparing to take up responsibilities connected with nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament matters.


NB: Please upload your CV (Word or PDF) to the application form below.


Payment Information