Proliferation News
» June 14, 2011

Conditions on Indian NSG Membership

Pierre Goldschmidt and Toby Dalton | Carnegie Analysis


The question of Indian membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) is reportedly on the agenda for the Group's annual plenary next week in the Netherlands. As the NSG participating governments consider adding new members, the question of conditions for membership becomes paramount.

This is particularly true for states that are not parties to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), namely India, Pakistan and Israel. These three non-NPT states in particular should be demonstrably "like-minded" in supporting the broader aims of the nonproliferation regime, of which the NSG is a critical component. To demonstrate this likemindedness, they should be expected to meet objective nonproliferation criteria for membership that ensure their behaviour is consistent with the objectives of the Group.

Positive feedback from some experts in India, Pakistan, and Israel suggests broad agreement with this approach, if not specific agreement with all of the fourteen conditions suggested in an earlier essay. It is noteworthy that in the case of India, the state first in the queue for membership, many of these conditions are consistent with current Indian policy. One Indian colleague has argued, however, that three of the conditions are "unrealistic" to expect of India. In fact these conditions—safeguards on all new nuclear facilities; CTBT ratification; and nuclear test moratorium—are entirely realistic if the expectation is that future NSG members share basic assumptions and approaches about the nonproliferation regime, in addition to agreeing to uphold NSG Guidelines. In this vein, it would seem that an Indian view that "the NPT did serve its purpose during the cold-war period, but has outlived its practical usefulness now" is fairly inconsistent with the current policies of NSG members. Full Article   

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