Non-aggression pact

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A non-aggression pact ( English pact aggression non- ; short NAP ) is an international legal agreement between two or more States, which undertake to discharge in peacetime their disputes without the use of armed force. So far there is no generally binding definition of the non-aggression pact under international law.

History of the Non-Aggression Pact

The mutual commitment to non-aggression in peacetime did not appear in international law until the 20th century. Numerous peace movements contributed to this development during the First World War , which demanded a renunciation of attack or violence. The experience of the First World War led to an intensified search for new means of war prevention. Attempts to develop a multilateral non-aggression pact system within the framework of the League of Nations failed. A first attempt was the Locarno Treaty signed in 1925 . After the Locarno negotiations, the Soviet Union in particular developed the initiative to conclude bilateral non-aggression pacts. The Soviet Union alone had concluded non-aggression pacts with 12 states by 1939, namely with Turkey , Lithuania , Finland , Latvia , Estonia , Poland , France , Italy , the German Reich , China , Persia and Afghanistan . From 1933 National Socialist Germany also became active in this direction and concluded non-aggression pacts with Poland, Denmark , Latvia, Estonia, France and the Soviet Union until 1939 . Non-aggression pacts between European states continued to exist between Italy and Yugoslavia (1937) and Spain and Portugal (1939). Even after the outbreak of World War II, non-aggression pacts were concluded, for example by the Soviet Union with Yugoslavia and Japan (1941) and between Turkey and Bulgaria (1941). The best-known non-aggression pact is the so-called Hitler-Stalin pact .

Historically, most nonaggression pacts have been broken, almost always by the state that proposed them. They did not prevent armaments and wars of aggression . Therefore their real usefulness is controversial among historians. After the Second World War , the non-aggression pact not only remained an element of bilateral politics, but also took on multilateral forms, as in Europe with NATO and the Warsaw Pact and in Asia with the ASEAN pact. Non-aggression pacts also experienced a revival in other crisis zones. In the 1980s, for example, the apartheid government of South Africa tried to break up the front against apartheid policy by concluding bilateral non-aggression pacts with Mozambique and Swaziland and to hinder the liberation movements of the ANC and SWAPO .

Colloquial language

At the Soccer World Cup in Spain in 1982 there was the so-called non - aggression pact of Gijón in the group stage between Germany and Austria. With the 1-0 win for the German team, both teams qualified for the intermediate round, which meant that both teams hardly fought each other during the game and were satisfied with the result.


  • Rolf Ahmann, Non-Aggressive Pacts: Development and Operational Use in Europe 1922-1939, Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft Baden-Baden 1988, ISBN 3-7890-1387-0