The Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) explicitly refers to the right of any group of States to conclude regional treaties to assure “the total absence of nuclear weapons in their respective territories.”

Such regional Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones help strengthen global nuclear non-proliferation and consolidate international efforts towards peace and security.

The Organisation of African Unity (OAU) Council of Ministers met in 1964 and took note of the draft Convention for the Denuclearization of the Continent of Africa. Following this, the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the OAU adopted a Declaration on the Denuclearization of Africa which called upon all States to respect the continent of Africa as a nuclear weapon free-zone and committed themselves to negotiate an international agreement under the United Nations (UN) not to manufacture or control atomic weapons.

The Declaration was endorsed by the UN General Assembly in 1965.