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Nuclear Suppliers Group should say NO to India’s try for membership

 The Nuclear Suppliers Group’s Critical India Decision An upcoming meeting will decide whether India will be allowed to join. Member states should think carefully. The Diplomat, By Mark Hibbs June 18, 2016 Beginning on Monday, the Nuclear Suppliers Group, or NSG – 48 countries that export most of the world’s nuclear material, equipment, and technology – will meet in Seoul to decide whether India should now be allowed to join. The United States has strongly urged the NSG to say yes.

The NSG should not say yes next week. It should tell India that there are good reasons to include it, but also that the group needs to complete an internal fact-finding and consensus-forming process in part to prepare the NSG for the consequences of possible Indian membership.

The United States has argued that bringing India into the group would be good for nuclear nonproliferation. So far it isn’t clear what the net overall benefit would be, especially because the White House is prepared to go forward without India having made non-proliferation commitments that many others in the group have made and virtually all say are important.

All NSG members are parties to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, or NPT.  For the group’s 43 states without nuclear arms, NPT membership commits them not to possess these weapons. For the five states in the NSG with nuclear weapons, NPT membership means that they have legally committed themselves to nuclear disarmament and not to assist others in obtaining nuclear weapons. In addition, NSG members have taken other important steps toward a nuclear weapon-free future, by joining the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), by joining treaties that create nuclear weapons-free zones, and/or by permitting the International Atomic Energy Agency to verify that no aspect of their nuclear programs are being used to produce uranium or plutonium for nuclear weapons.

India is a nuclear-armed state. India is not a party to the NPT, it is not a party to a nuclear weapon-free zone treaty, it will not join the CTBT, and it will not make legal commitments identical to NPT articles concerning its nuclear arms. NSG members therefore are compelled to think harder than in previous cases about what will be the consequences of admitting India into the group. Those consequences include the impact on current NSG rules that discourage assistance to nuclear weapons programs in four non-NPT countries, as well as the impact on global efforts to strengthen specific NPT norms……..

The United States advocates Indian NSG membership for commercial and geostrategic reasons largely unrelated to nuclear export controls. Neither ground justifies forcing a decision now. In 2008, the NSG elected to permit civilian nuclear trade with India, meaning that India can import a raft of reactors its wants to buy from vendor Westinghouse. ……http://thediplomat.com/2016/06/the-nuclear-suppliers-groups-critical-india-decision/

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June 20, 2016 - Posted by | India, weapons and war

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