U.N. asks India, Pak, Israel to joint NPT, CTBT

Breaking the tradition of not naming countries, the first draft of the final document of 2010 Nuclear-Non Proliferation Treaty Review conference has asked India, Pakistan and Israel to join NPT and CTBT.

“The conference calls upon India, Israel and Pakistan to accede to the treaty as non-nuclear weapon states, promptly and without conditions, thereby accepting an internationally legally binding commitment not to acquire nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices,” the first draft of the document said.

“The conference also calls upon India and Pakistan to maintain moratoriums on nuclear testing and calls upon India, Israel and Pakistan to sign and ratify the Comprehensive (Nuclear) Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) without delay and without conditions,” it said.

The NPT Review Conference is held every five years to assess the progress in reaching the goals set out in the 1970 treaty to disarm and stop the spread of nuclear weapons.

This year it started on May 3 and would end on May 28 when the final draft is expected.

India, Pakistan and Israel have not signed the treaty and do not attend. The last conference in 2005 ended in failure.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a Western diplomat said here that there were countries, which had accepted that India and Pakistan were not going to become part of the treaty and suggested a new track to reign them into the non-proliferation regime.

“We are going to try and put them in a cooperation system with obligations so that they would have the same obligations that NPT countries without being in the NPT,” he said, noting that such an agreement was better than doing nothing.

Several experts, however, have pointed out that by the time the final document was prepared the names of the countries may be replaced by a more general call for the universal acceptance of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Officials noted that naming Israel, for instance, would lead to the country not cooperating with the Arab nations on a plan to have a Middle East free nuclear weapons free zone.

“We want something so that all countries come to the table,” the Western diplomat said. “But it’s so fragile, it’s so difficult.”

Mark Hibbs, an expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, who had attended the meetings noted that there seemed to be a “tacit agreement” not to retain the names by the end of the conference.

On Tuesday, the United States also reiterated that its nuclear cooperation deal with India was a unique situation and did not set a precedent for the future, according to Reaching Critical Will, a project of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, the oldest women’s peace organisation in the world.

While several states continue to criticise the special status given to India through the Civil Nuclear deal as weakening the NPT regime, diplomats here noted that it had not become a major bone of contention.

However, the senior Western diplomat noted that the international community would not accept Pakistan entering into a deal similar to the one the U.S. and India had signed.

“We know exactly what India is doing,” he said, noting that Islamabad would not allow checks on its nuclear facilities even if entered into a similar agreement with China.

“Pakistan does not want to have any inspection of any kind.”

Meanwhile, the five permanent members of the Security Council have come under severe criticism for watering down the disarmament obligations in the document.

“The commitment to disarm are clearly weaker than what they have been till now,” Mr. Hibbs said.

The senior Western official also noted that the tussle in the conference was between the permanent members of the Security Council that were united and the Non-Aligned Movement countries that had divided positions on several issues including Iran’s nuclear programme.

“The final document will be weak because it will be the only way to have a document,” the Western diplomat said.

Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Sep 27, 2020 5:40:53 AM |

Next Story