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Indo-US Nuclear Deal: Press Release by Abolition 2000

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  • Sukla Sen
    Delay of US-India Nuclear Agreement The US-India Working Group of the ABOLITION 2000 network(1) issued a statement on 23 October regarding the delay in
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 23, 2007
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      Delay of US-India Nuclear Agreement

      The US-India Working Group of the ABOLITION 2000
      network(1) issued a statement on 23 October regarding
      the delay in implementation of the US-India Nuclear
      Agreement. We enclose a copy of the statement and
      encourage you to take up the suggestions that it
      contains. In particular, we draw your attention to the
      following paragraph:

      "If India and other states outside the NPT are to be
      integrated into the international mainstream, NSG and
      NPT states must require that they do so on terms that
      promote genuine nuclear disarmament. Non-nuclear
      weapons states must insist that states which possess
      nuclear weapons, regardless of whether or not they are
      members of the NPT, take concrete and irreversible
      steps towards real nuclear disarmament. These steps
      should include bringing into force the Comprehensive
      Test Ban Treaty, negotiating a Fissile Materials
      Cutoff Treaty and signing a universal,
      non-discriminatory and enforceable nuclear weapons
      convention.

      The delay in implementation of the Agreement gives us
      time to reflect on the damage that it would do to the
      twin causes of disarmament and non-proliferation. We
      urge you not to let this opportunity slip.

      Philip White, US-India Deal Working Group Coordinator
      Steven Staples, Global Secretariat to Abolition 2000
      24 October 2007



      Statement regarding Delay of US-India Nuclear
      Agreement
      “breathing space to reflect on the damage it would do”

      The US-India Working Group of the ABOLITION 2000
      network1 welcomes reports that implementation of the
      US-India Nuclear Agreement remains on hold for the
      time being. However, the governments of India and the
      US have not abandoned the agreement altogether and
      attempts to revive the process are continuing.
      Nevertheless, it appears that the world has gained at
      least some breathing space to reflect on the damage
      that the agreement would do to the twin causes of
      disarmament and non-proliferation.

      The US-India nuclear agreement exempts India from US
      non-proliferation laws that have banned the sale of
      nuclear fuel and technology to India for about three
      decades. These laws were created because India had
      used nuclear technology provided for peaceful purposes
      to make nuclear weapons. In addition, the Nuclear
      Suppliers Group of countries (NSG) was created in
      response to India’s 1974 nuclear weapon test. For the
      agreement to proceed, the NSG must reach a consensus
      to grant India a special exemption from its nuclear
      trade rules. That India conducted 5 nuclear test
      explosions in 1998, after most of the NSG members had
      signed and ratified the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty,
      does not help its case.

      The 123 agreement [struck between the US and India as
      a major step towards operationalising the project]
      undermines the basic bargain of the nuclear
      non-proliferation regime – you cannot benefit from
      nuclear trade if you make nuclear weapons. Pakistan
      and Israel, who are also outside the NPT, have already
      asked for similar privileges to those offered to
      India. North Korea may echo these demands. Some
      countries may ask why they should stay in the NPT if
      they can get the same benefits by being outside it.

      If in future, under changed political circumstances,
      the agreement is reactivated, members of the NSG, as
      well as member states of the Nonproliferation Treaty
      (NPT), should resist attempts to make an exemption for
      India from the rules governing nuclear trade.

      If India and other states outside the NPT are to be
      integrated into the international mainstream, NSG and
      NPT states must require that they do so on terms that
      promote genuine nuclear disarmament. Non-nuclear
      weapons states must insist that states which possess
      nuclear weapons, regardless of whether or not they are
      members of the NPT, take concrete and irreversible
      steps towards real nuclear disarmament. These steps
      should include bringing into force the Comprehensive
      Test Ban Treaty, negotiating a Fissile Materials
      Cutoff Treaty and signing a universal,
      non-discriminatory and enforceable nuclear weapons
      convention.

      Despite developing nuclear weapons outside the NPT,
      India has always been a strong advocate of nuclear
      disarmament. It would be perfectly consistent with
      India's past pronouncements for it now to take the
      initiative in such a program. More so as Rajiv Gandhi,
      India's then Prime Minister, himself strongly pleaded
      for disarmament in June 1988 before the UNGA.

      Whatever the motives might have been of the groups
      within India that stymied early implementation of the
      US-India Nuclear Agreement, a great setback for
      nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation has been
      avoided for the time being. All states and all
      citizens working for these causes should seize this
      opportunity. If we fail to do so, in the not too
      distant future we may find ourselves back where we
      were 2 weeks ago.

      Philip White, US-India Deal Working Group Coordinator
      Steven Staples, Global Secretariat to Abolition 2000
      23 October 2007

      1. ABOLITION 2000 is a global network of over 2000
      organizations in more than 90 countries working for a
      global treaty to eliminate nuclear weapons. The
      US-India Deal Working Group was established at
      ABOLITION 2000's Annual General Meeting, May 2007,
      Vienna. The website for the working group is as
      follows:
      http://cnic.jp/english/topics/plutonium/proliferation/usindia.html

      Citizens' Nuclear Information Center
      2F-B Akebonobashi Coop, 8-5 Sumiyoshi-cho,
      Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, 162-0065, Japan
      Phone: +81-3-3357-3800 Fax: +81-3-3357-3801
      Email: white@... Web: http://cnic.jp/english/




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