Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)

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  • Anand Ratkal asked: What is the Indian viewpoint on the global nuclear disarmament issue and the NPT and CTBT in particular?

    Reshmi Kazi replies: India has been a consistent advocate of global nuclear disarmament since the inception of the concept in the United Nations. India, faced with two nuclear neighbours with one of them declaring its nuclear arsenal as India-specific, had to reluctantly become a nuclear weapon state. However, India remains committed to the idea of negotiating a universal, non-discriminatory and internationally and effectively verifiable treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, one that takes into account India’s national security interests.

    India and the NPT

    The UN Security Council adopted unanimously resolution 1887 on nuclear non-proliferation which among other actions called on states not party to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) to join it. However, India responded to the resolution by declaring categorically that it will not join the NPT as a non-nuclear weapon state since nuclear weapons constitute an integral part of India’s security. Till date, the NPT recognises only the five permanent members of the UN Security Council (US, Russia, UK, France and China) as nuclear weapon powers and mandates that other countries can be a party to the NPT only as a non-nuclear weapon state. This is not acceptable to India and hence the issue of India joining the NPT does not arise. India’s stated position on the NPT is that it “cannot accept externally prescribed norms or standards on matters within the jurisdiction of its Parliament or which are not consistent with India's constitutional provisions and procedures, or are contrary to India's national interests or infringe on its sovereignty.”

    India and the CTBT

    India’s stand on the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) too is a principled one. India has declared that it would be unable to sign and ratify the CTBT in its present discriminatory form. However, India has pledged to continue with its voluntary and unilateral moratorium on further nuclear testing. India is the only nuclear weapon state to declare that it believes its security would be enhanced, not diminished, in a world free of nuclear weapons.

    Iranian Nuclear Imbroglio: The Way Forward

    After wining the elections, Hassan Rouhani has insisted that Iran is ‘ready to show more transparency’ over its nuclear programme, but has also affirmed that it has ‘inalienable rights’ to enrich uranium as a member of the NPT.

    August 06, 2013

    India's Nuclear Limbo and the Fatalism of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Regime, 1974–1983

    India's relationship with the nuclear non-proliferation regime deteriorated sharply after its 1974 underground nuclear test which, according to India, was a peaceful nuclear explosion, but which was not accepted as such by the regime. That it did not follow up with immediate weaponisation challenged the core logic of the non-proliferation regime which operates on a Murphy's Law of ‘nuclear fatalism’, i.e. if a country has the know-how to produce nuclear weapons, it will certainly produce them.

    May 2013

    Comment on ‘The Global Nuclear Non-Proliferation Paradigm and India’

    Rajiv Nayan's article is both important and interesting. It is important because nuclear weapons pose a threat to humanity and the planet that in magnitude, severity and immediacy is the gravest of all known risks confronting us today.

    January 2012

    Uranium from Down Under: Can Madam Gillard Pull it off?

    Prime Minister Gillard's decision to reverse the uranium export policy not just indicates a dramatic shift in Australia’s strategic outlook, but also could endow a decisive fillip to its crisis-hit uranium industry.

    November 21, 2011

    The Non-Proliferation Paradigm and the Restive Outlier

    The nuclear non-proliferation paradigm 1 has rarely remained static. Its logic or the underlying principle has however been singular – non-proliferation should lead to nuclear disarmament, and eventually total elimination. It is the approach to the paradigm that has evolved over the years, often accentuated by, and many a time succumbing to, the transformations in the global security environment. Milestones in this evolution have often been construed as shifts in the paradigm, as newer security imperatives necessitated augmentations in existing approaches to proliferation challenges.

    July 2011

    The Global Nuclear Non-Proliferation Paradigm and India

    Non-proliferation is now an accepted norm in international security and international relations. Most countries perceive global nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation as being inseparable in principle, although there is disagreement among countries on the ultimate objective of non-proliferation. Most countries generally want non-proliferation to be a transitional arrangement before total nuclear disarmament, which at present is a desirable though distant goal. The classical bargain for balancing the two has tilted in favour of non-proliferation.

    July 2011

    Non-Proliferation Lobby Analysts Seek to Corner India on CTBT

    To resolve the challenge posed by the NPT criteria, the best solution would be to amend the NPT and accommodate India as a nuclear weapon state.

    June 03, 2011

    Disarmament’s ‘Lost Decade’

    The paralysis at the Conference on Disarmament (CD) captures the state of affairs that has bedevilled the field of arms control/disarmament during the last 10 years.

    February 02, 2011

    IAEA and the Nuclear Fuel Bank: Signs of Spring in a Nuclear Winter

    The proposed Nuclear Fuel Bank would provide fuel to only those states that are in compliance with their international commitments, especially obligations under the NPT.

    December 07, 2010

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