Three nuclear-armed states never signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)—India, Israel, and Pakistan. In recent years, they have enhanced their participation in international nuclear governance efforts in ways that blur the distinction between treaty members and non-members. In areas such as export control and nuclear security, these states now implement policies and practices largely consistent with the nonproliferation “mainstream.” In 2016, India and Pakistan applied for membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), which has required prospective members to be signatories to the NPT, raising further questions about the practical significance of treaty membership. Does such “mainstreaming” strengthen or weaken the global nuclear order? Should non-NPT states be invited to join the NSG and similar multilateral arrangements, and if so, on what basis? If not, what incentives exist for non-NPT states to strengthen their nuclear security, safety, and export control practices?
Magnus Hellgren, Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs