The International Commission on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (ICNND) on Monday emphasised its “concerns about the terms of the exemption approved [in September 2008] by the Nuclear Suppliers Group [NSG] for India's nuclear programmes.”

As an independent global panel set up by the governments of Australia and Japan, the Commission reaffirmed a concern that India's exemption from the NSG guidelines “did not require a strong new commitment [by New Delhi] to disarmament and non-proliferation objectives and measures.”

The panel's communiqué, received by TheHindu, contains a message directly relevant to the current international focus on cooperation between China and Pakistan in the civil nuclear energy domain.

In the steadfast “view” of the Commission, any future supply [of nuclear materials]” to countries outside the ambit of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) must be based on at least one major condition on two aspects. The recommended “condition” was that “the receiving state [will] not conduct any nuclear test, and [will] implement a moratorium on the production of fissile material for weapon purposes, pending the [global] entry into force of a fissile material production ban.”

Besides the communiqué, a joint statement was issued by the ICNND Co-Chairs, Gareth Evans of Australia and Yoriko Kawaguchi of Japan, after the panel held its final meeting in Vienna.

They said “the Commission recommends the establishment of a Global Centre on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament.” The mandate of the proposed Centre would be to “focus [on] and encourage the continuing interest of the whole international community – governments and civil society alike – in eliminating nuclear threats once and for all.”

The proposed Centre would produce an “annual report card” on the performance of nuclear-armed states and others not in that category. The assessment would be based on the “action agendas in the 2010 NPT Review Conference Final Document.” The ICNND's report would also be a framework for such an annual report card.

Keywords: NPTnuclear issues