Abolition 2000 calls on NSG governments to block US-India deal

Press Release 14 August 2007

ABOLITION 2000, a network of over 2000 organizations in more than 90 
countries working for nuclear disarmament, today urged leaders of the 
45 countries that control international nuclear trade as members of the 
Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) to reject the proposed US-India nuclear 

The US-India deal 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 used nuclear 
technology provided for peaceful purposes to make nuclear weapons. For 
the deal to proceed, the NSG countries must reach a consensus to grant 
India a similar special exemption from their nuclear trade rules.

Philip White, Coordinator of ABOLITION 2000's US-India Deal Working 
Group, said, "The agreement will fuel an arms race in South Asia. The 
International Panel on Fissile Materials has shown how the deal will 
enable India to increase many fold its production of fissile material 
for nuclear weapons, and Pakistan is already taking steps to expand its 
nuclear weapons program."

Mr. White noted that "The deal 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 exemptions. North Korea may 
echo join these demands. Some countries may ask why stay in NPT if you 
can get the same benefits by being outside it."

Mr. White said, "All the NSG countries, especially those who claim to 
take non-proliferation and disarmament seriously, must ensure that the 
US-India deal comply fully with international nuclear disarmament and 
non-proliferation agreements, principles, and norms. Otherwise, it must 
be rejected."

He added, "The deal marks such a fundamental shift in the international 
non-proliferation regime that any decision to exempt India from the 
rules should be submitted for approval by all the countries of the NPT 
at their next Review Conference, in 2010."

The text of the working group's letter, along with a list of endorsing 
members and a list of NSG countries follows.

Philip White, Coordinator of ABOLITION 2000's US-India Deal Working 
c/- Citizens' Nuclear Information Center, Tokyo, Japan
Tel: 81-3-3357-3800 Fax: 81-3-3357-3801
Email 1: white@cnic.jp Email 2: cnic@nifty.com
Working Group Web Site: 

Letter sent to heads of NSG governments on 14 August 2007
(First sentence of paragraph 3 reworded slightly for governments which 
are not currently represented on the IAEA Board of Governors)

Prime Minister ... / President ...

We write to you on behalf of ABOLITION 2000, a global network of over 
2000 organizations in more than 90 countries working for a global 
treaty to eliminate nuclear weapons, to share our concern about the 
nuclear agreement that has been negotiated between the US and India. We 
hope that, like us, your government will consider the deal to be deeply 
flawed and reject it.

As you know, the United States and India recently finalized details of 
a proposed agreement that will exempt India from long-standing 
restrictions on nuclear trade. For this deal to proceed, India must 
negotiate a safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy 
Agency (IAEA) and the 45 member-states of the Nuclear Suppliers Group 
(NSG) also must decide to grant India a special exemption from their 
rules governing nuclear trade.

Your government is represented on both the Board of Governors of the 
IAEA and on the NSG, so it is in a position of great responsibility. We 
urge you to ensure that there is no rush to judgment in the negotiation 
of a safeguards agreement between India and the IAEA or at the NSG. The 
goal of members states in both bodies should be to ensure that the 
US-India deal comply fully with current international nuclear 
disarmament and non-proliferation agreements, principles, and norms.

In the case of the NSG, all 45 member countries have a power of veto 
over implementation of the US-India nuclear agreement. For the reasons 
outlined below we urge you to exercise that power. Furthermore, we 
believe that the deal is of such consequence for the international 
non-proliferation regime that the final decision on this matter should 
be made by the NPT parties at the next Review Conference, in 2010. The 
currently applicable consensus within the NPT framework is that 
countries should not receive nuclear assistance unless they have made 
"internationally legally binding commitments not to acquire nuclear 
weapons or other nuclear explosive devices". (See paragraph 12 of the 
'Principles and objectives for nuclear nonproliferation and 
disarmament' Decision 2, 1995 NPT Extension Conference). We urge you to 
make it clear that any effort to force a decision in the NSG prior to a 
new consensus among the NPT parties will be opposed by your government.

Background and Analysis

The text of the agreement (referred to as a "Section 123" agreement 
after the section in the US Atomic Energy Act) was released on 3 August 
2007. Key features are an unusual arrangement for a dedicated 
reprocessing facility and U.S. fuel supply assurances to India. In both 
areas the proposed agreement grants preferential treatment to a non-NPT 
party. These attempts to finesse concerns about compliance with US law 
(the Atomic Energy Act and the Hyde Act) must not be allowed to blind 
the governments of other countries to the broader concerns discussed 

Since its nuclear test in 1974, India has been subject to sanctions on 
trade in nuclear technology. After India and Pakistan conducted nuclear 
tests in 1998, the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution 
(SC1172) condemning the tests. The "Section 123" agreement violates 
SC1172, which calls on India and Pakistan "immediately to stop their 
nuclear weapon development programs, to refrain from weaponization or 
from the deployment of nuclear weapons, to cease development of 
ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons and any 
further production of fissile material for nuclear weapons. " The 
Resolution also "encourages all States to prevent the export of 
equipment, materials or technology that could in any way assist 
programs in India or Pakistan for nuclear weapons." In the absence of 
India halting the production of fissile material for weapons, the 
supply of uranium to India by the international community for the 
reactors on its civilian list would still free up India's limited 
supply of indigenous reactor fuel for the sole purpose of fueling 
plutonium production reactors, thus indirectly assisting India's 
nuclear weapons program. (2)

The Section 123 agreement would allow for the transfer of sensitive 
reprocessing technology under certain circumstances. But the supply to 
India of equipment that may also be used in reprocessing, uranium 
enrichment, and heavy water production facilities risks that such 
equipment may be replicated and used in India's unsafeguarded nuclear 
weapons program. Such cooperation, if allowed by the NSG, could violate 
the original five Nuclear-Weapons States' NPT obligations under Article 
I of the NPT, which prohibits nuclear-weapon states from assisting 
non-nuclear-weapon states in any way to acquire nuclear weapons.

Despite developing and testing nuclear weapons outside the framework of 
the NPT, India is getting more favorable treatment than any NPT state 
with which the United States has a nuclear cooperation agreement. The 
Arms Control Association made the following comment in a Background 
Memo (3) issued in response to the August 3 release of the text of the 
"Section 123" agreement:

"The U.S.-India nuclear trade deal would grant India benefits not 
available to the non-nuclear weapon states parties to the nuclear 
Nonproliferation Treaty without even requiring it to meet all of the 
responsibilities expected of the five original nuclear-weapon states.
"For example, unlike China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the 
United States, India has refused to sign the 1996 Comprehensive Nuclear 
Test Ban Treaty and it has refused unilaterally to declare a halt to 
the production of fissile material for weapons -- as France, Russia, 
the United Kingdom, and United States have all done."

There is an immediate risk that the US-India nuclear agreement will 
fuel a nuclear arms race between India and Pakistan. Pakistan's 
National Command Authority (NCA), chaired by President Pervez 
Musharraf, has declared that "In view of the fact the [U.S.-India] 
agreement would enable India to produce a significant quantity of 
fissile material and nuclear weapons from unsafeguarded nuclear 
reactors, the NCA expressed firm resolve that our credible minimum 
deterrence requirements will be met." This suggests a South Asian 
fissile material race may be imminent.

Exempting India from international rules governing trade in nuclear 
technology threatens to undermine the nuclear non-proliferation order 
and thereby the prospects for global nuclear disarmament. Regardless of 
claims that the exemption will apply only to India, inevitably other 
nuclear proliferators will expect the same treatment. There is a danger 
that Pakistan, Israel and North-Korea, and possibly other countries in 
future, will see this as an opportunity for them to lay similar claims. 
For this and all the above reasons we urge you to reject this 
ill-conceived nuclear agreement.

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

Notes and References

1. ABOLITION 2000's US-India Deal Working Group was established at 
ABOLITION 2000's Annual General Meeting held during the May 2007 NPT 
PrepCom in Vienna. ABOLITION 2000 lobbied governments at the NPT 

2. Zia Mian, A.H. Nayyar, R. Rajaraman and M. V. Ramana, Fissile 
Materials in South Asia:The Implications of the US-India Nuclear Deal, 
International Panel on Fissile Materials, Research Report #1, 11 July 

3. Arms Control Association Background Memo, "U.S.-Indian Nuclear 
Agreement: A Bad Deal Gets Worse", August 3, 2007

Endorsed by Members of Abolition 2000 US-India Deal Working Group

Lisa Clark (Italy), Beati i costruttori di pace (Blessed Are the 
Peacemakers) and Italian Disarmament Network

Beatrice Fihn (Sweden), Womens' International League for Peace and 

Hamsa Genedy (Egypt), International Section, Afro-Asian Peoples' 
Solidarity Organization

Jim Green (Australia), Friends of the Earth Australia

Regina Hagen (Germany), International Network of Engineers and 
Scientists Against Proliferation

Xanthe Hall (Germany), International Physicians for the Prevention of 
Nuclear War

John Hallam (Australia), People for Nuclear Disarmament NSW

David Heller (Belgium), Friends of the Earth Flanders & Brussels

Hidemichi Kano (Japan), Japan Congress Against A- and H-Bombs

Akira Kawasaki (Japan), Peace Boat

Daryl Kimball (USA), Arms Control Association

Ak Malten (The Netherlands), Global Anti-Nuclear Alliance

Nouri Abdul Razzak Hussain (Egypt), Secretary-General, Afro-Asian 
Peoples' Solidarity Organization

Sukla Sen (India), National Coordination Committee Member, Coalition 
for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace

Hari P. Sharma (Canada), Professor Emeritus of Sociology, Simon Fraser 
University and President, SANSAD (South Asian Network for Secularism 
and Democracy)

Steven Staples (Canada), Director, Rideau Institute on International 
Affairs, Global Secretariat to Abolition 2000

Heinz Stockinger (Austria), PLAGE - Independent Platform Against 
Nuclear Dangers

Aaron Tovish (USA), International Manager, Mayors for Peace 2020 Vision 
Campaign International Secretariat

Philip White (Japan), Citizens' Nuclear Information Center

Working Group Contact Address:
c/- Citizens' Nuclear Information Center, Akebonobashi Co-op 2F-B, 8-5 
Sumiyoshi-cho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, 162-0065, Japan
Tel: 03-3357-3800 Fax: 03-3357-3801

List of countries which are represented on the NSG and the IAEA Board 
of Governors:
Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belarus, Brazil, Canada, China, Croatia, 
Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Japan, Norway, Russian Federation, 
Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, United Kingdom, United 
States of America.

List of countries which are represented on the NSG, but not on the IAEA 
Board of Governors:
Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Hungary, 
Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The 
Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, 
Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine

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