NSG Membership of Non-NPT States

Criteria/NPT Equivalence Debate: Merits of the Indian Application

The recent Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) membership applications by India and Pakistan have focused attention on criteria for admission of non-Nuclear Proliferation Treaty (NPT) states in the export control regime.

At the heart of the debate is the NSG document entitled ‘Procedural Arrangements’, which stipulates NPT as one of the ‘factors for participation’ of any state in NSG.

The debate has been revolving around the question of criteria which non-NPT states should meet with a view to establishing NPT equivalence. This debate has been oscillating between two extremes. On one hand, there is a view that no non-NPT state should be admitted unless it accedes to the Treaty as a non-nuclear weapon state (NNWS). On the other hand, India, and its supporters including the US, have been asserting that the commitments undertaken by India in 2008, and the subsequent IAEA safeguards agreement and Additional Protocol (AP) signed by it in 2009, are sufficient conditions for NSG membership. These states do not feel that India needs to make any additional non-proliferation commitment.

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