Major Treaties, IAEA and Challenges Ahead for India's Nuclear Diplomacy

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Major Treaties

Major Treaties

Major Treaties


  • World’s centre of cooperation in the nuclear field

  • Three main areas of work for IAEA

  • Safety and security

  • Science and technology including peaceful nuclear technologies

  • Safeguards and verification

  • IAEA only reports discrepancies after inspections to the UN as it has no enforcement power

  • The inspection system of IAEA is designed to deter proliferation through international pressure, disapproval and possible sanctions and counter measures

Challenges Ahead for India’S Nuclear Diplomacy

Challenges ahead for India’s nuclear diplomacy

Challenges Ahead for India’S Nuclear Diplomacy

  • Indian officials will have taken heart from French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe’s (left) public articulation in a recent interview that Paris did not consider itself bound by the new guidelines when it came to nuclear commerce with India. Photo: AFP

  • Nullifying the effect of the Nuclear Suppliers Group’s ban on enrichment and reprocessing exports will require diplomatic finesse and commercial hardball.

  • After the diplomatic successes of 2008, when the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) exempted India from the cartel’s ban on atomic sales to countries that have not signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) or placed all their nuclear facilities under international safeguards, 2011 has not been a very good year at all.

  • Negotiations with the Japanese on a nuclear agreement have run aground, India’s liability law is being unfairly attacked by its potential partners and, of course, the 46-nation NSG adopted new guidelines for the export of sensitive nuclear technology this June — Including enrichment and reprocessing (ENR) equipment and technology — that made the sale of these items conditional on the recipient state fulfilling a number of “objective” and “subjective” conditions. The first of these conditions, namely NPT membership and full-scope safeguards, were specifically designed to dilute the 2008 waiver India received and were not needed to ban ENR sales to any of the other three countries outside the NPT (Pakistan, Israel and North Korea) since the NSG’s original guidelines — with their catch-all NPT conditionality for the export of any kind of nuclear equipment — continue to apply to them.

  • Though Washington denies targeting New Delhi and says it has been working to restrict the sale of ENR equipment and technology for many years now, the new guidelines’ redundant reference to the NPT was introduced in order to fulfil an assurance that Condoleezza Rice, who was U.S. Secretary of State at the time, gave Capitol Hill in 2008. Some Congressmen feared other nuclear suppliers would steal a march on the United States by offering India technologies the U.S. wouldn’t. To allay their concerns, the U.S. administration said it would ensure an NSG-level ban on sensitive nuclear technology exports to India. A draft was circulated in November that year and finally approved in June 2011.

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