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“I also want to thank Daryl Kimball and the Arms Control Association for allowing me to address all of you today and for being such effective advocates for sensible policies to stem the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and most importantly, reduce the risk of nuclear war.”

– Joseph Biden, Jr.
Senator
January 28, 2004
NGO Statement at 2008 NPT PrepCom

The following statement was delivered by John Loretz of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War on 29 April 2008. It is based on an international letter sent on 7 January 2008 to governments on the NSG and the IAEA Board of Governors.

Proposal for Nuclear Cooperation with India: A Nonproliferation Disaster

Convenors: Daryl Kimball, Arms Control Association; Philip White, Abolition 2000 US-India Deal Working Group
Speaker: John Loretz, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War

Ladies and Gentleman:

As we mark the 40th anniversary of the opening for signature of the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), global system for controlling and eliminating nuclear weapons is under severe stress. This presentation addresses a fundamental challenge to the treaty: the July 2005 proposal to carve-out a country-specific loophole in global nonproliferation norms and standards to allow a handful of nuclear supplier states to engage in nuclear cooperation with India, which is one of the few remaining NPT hold-out states.

We believe that each NPT state party has a role and responsibility to actively help ensure that any proposed nuclear cooperation with India, or with any other country outside the NPT, should be fully consistent with the treaty and all NPT Review Conference decisions, as well as United Nations Security Council resolution, the established practices of the IAEA safeguards system, and international nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation agreements, principles, and norms.

This presentation represents the views of more than 130 experts and nongovernmental organizations from 23 countries, including the President of the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference. It is based on a letter dated 7 January 2008 that was sent by these organizations and individuals to over 60 governments.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors may soon be asked to consider a new "India-specific" safeguards agreement that would cover a limited number of additional "civilianÅh reactors. Shortly thereafter, the members of the 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) will be asked to take a position on the Bush administration's proposal to exempt India from longstanding NSG guidelines that require full-scope IAEA safeguards as a condition of supply. This would open the door for the United States and others to engage in nuclear trade with India for the first time since India detonated a nuclear device in 1974 that used plutonium harvested from a heavy water reactor supplied by Canada and the United States in violation of bilateral peaceful nuclear use agreements.

Contrary to the claims of its advocates, the proposed arrangement fails to bring India further into conformity with the nonproliferation behavior expected of other states. India's commitments under the current terms of the proposed arrangement do not justify making far-reaching exceptions to international nonproliferation rules and norms. Consequently, the proposed arrangement would damage the already fragile nuclear nonproliferation system and set back efforts to achieve universal nuclear disarmament.

We urge your government and this meeting of NPT states parties has a responsibility to consider the full implications of the proposed agreement and to play an active role to help ensure that this controversial proposal does not:

  • further undermine the nuclear safeguards system and efforts to prevent the proliferation of technologies that may be used to produce nuclear bomb material;
  • in any way contribute to nuclear proliferation and/or the expansion of India's nuclear arsenal; or
  • otherwise grant India the benefits of civil nuclear trade without holding it to the same standards expected of other states parties of the NPT.

Please consider the following:

1) India is seeking "India-specific" safeguards over the additional facilities it has declared "civilian". Indian officials insist that the continuation of these safeguards depends upon the continued supply of nuclear fuel from foreign suppliers. India may also assert that it has the option to remove certain "indigenous" reactors from safeguards if foreign fuel supplies are interrupted, even if that is because it has resumed nuclear testing. Such interpretations would be unprecedented and should be rejected whether they might be included in the actual safeguards agreement or accompanying statements.

As part of the final document of the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference, all NPT states parties endorsed the principle of full-scope safeguards as a condition of supply. A decision by a subset of the NPT states parties - the 45-nation NSG - to exempt India from this requirement for India would contradict this important element of the NPT bargain.

It should also be noted that the several countries that are parties to the Treaty of Pelindaba and the Treaty of Rarotonga have made further commitments not to provide any source or special fissionable material to any NPT non-nuclear-weapon state unless the recipient state is under comprehensive IAEA safeguards.

We urge your government to actively oppose any arrangement that would give India any special safeguards exemptions or would in any way be inconsistent with the principle of permanent safeguards over all nuclear materials and facilities.

2) India pledged in July 2005 to conclude an Additional Protocol to its safeguards agreement. Given that India maintains a nuclear weapons program outside of safeguards, facility-specific safeguards on a few additional "civilian" reactors provide no serious nonproliferation benefits. States should insist that India conclude a meaningful Additional Protocol safeguards regime before the NSG takes a decision on exempting India from its rules.

3) The United States has put forward a draft NSG guideline that would allow NSG states to continue providing India with nuclear supplies even if New Delhi breaks its nuclear test moratorium pledge. Indian officials say they want changes to NSG guidelines that do not impinge upon their ability to resume nuclear testing. The U.S. proposal on India at the NSG would, in the case of a resumption of nuclear testing by India, make the suspension of nuclear trade optional for NSG members. Such an approach would undercut the international norm against nuclear testing and make a mockery of NSG guidelines. Nuclear supplier states should be immediately terminated if India resumes nuclear testing for any reason.

4) India is seeking exemptions from NSG guidelines and IAEA supply guarantees that would allow supplier states to provide India with a strategic fuel reserve that could be used to outlast any fuel supply cut off or sanctions that may be imposed if it resumes nuclear testing. The U.S.-India bilateral nuclear cooperation agreement includes political commitments to support an Indian strategic fuel reserve and an "India-specific" fuel supply arrangement. If nuclear supplier states should agree to supply fuel to India, they should do so in a manner that is commensurate with ordinary reactor operating requirements.

5) India is seeking and the United States has proposed an NSG guideline that would open the way for other nuclear suppliers to transfer sensitive plutonium reprocessing, uranium enrichment, or heavy water production technology to India even though IAEA safeguards cannot prevent such technology from being replicated and used in its weapons program. U.S. officials have stated that they do not intend to sell such technology, but other states may. Foreign-assisted enrichment and reprocessing, even if ostensibly confined to the civilian program, could help India in its military programs because Indian technicians could adapt civilian assistance to the weapons program through reverse engineering. So long as India maintains an unsafeguarded weapons program, no such technologies should be transferred to India.

6) Absent a decision by New Delhi to halt the production of fissile material for weapons purposes, foreign fuel supplies would allow India not only to continue but also to potentially accelerate the buildup of its stockpile of nuclear weapons materials. This would not only contradict the goal of Article I of the NPT, but it would also foster further nuclear competition between India and Pakistan. India's stated support for a global, verifiable fissile material cut-off treaty is welcome, but insufficient, especially given the decade-long gridlock in Geneva that has held up negotiations on the cut-off.

7) UN Security Council Resolution 1172 calls on India and Pakistan to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and stop producing fissile material for weapons, among other nuclear risk reduction measures. Your government is bound by the UN Charter to support the implementation of this resolution and states at this meeting should reiterate their commitment to the prompt realization of its goals.

Conclusion
The initiative for nuclear cooperation with India threatens to undermine the nuclear nonproliferation regime by granting India the benefits of nuclear commerce only accorded to NPT states parties, while securing no meaningful constraint on the growth of its nuclear weapons stockpile or commitment by India to accept the legal equivalent of the obligations set forth in Articles I and VI of the NPT.

We call on all NPT states parties to judge the proposal for nuclear cooperation according to the commitments they have made under the treaty and in the context of NPT Review Conferences, and according to the obligations imposed by UN Security Council resolutions passed in the aftermath of the May 1998 Indian and Pakistani nuclear tests. Rather than create exceptions to the rules of behavior expected of responsible states, NPT states parties should reaffirm the need for universal adherence to the treaty and for nuclear disarmament.

Thank you.

 

Individual Endorsements (organizations listed for identification purposes only)

Tadatoshi Akiba
Mayor of Hiroshima (Japan)

Amb. Richard Broinowski (Australia)
Adjunct Professor, School of Letters, Art and Media
University of Sydney
Former Ambassador to Vietnam, Republic of Korea, Mexico, the Central American Republics and Cuba

Jayantha Dhanapala (Sri Lanka)
Former United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs
President of the 1995 NPT Review & Extension Conference (Recipient of the 2007 Intl. Peace Bureau MacBride Prize)

Amb. Robert Grey Jr., (Washington D.C., USA)
Director, Bipartisan Security Group and Former U.S. Representative to the Conference on Disarmament

Fred McGoldrick (Boston, Mass., USA)
Consultant and Former Director of Nonproliferation and Export Policy U.S. Department of State

Hon. Douglas Roche, O.C., Canadian Senator Emeritus and Former Canadian Ambassador for Disarmament

Roland Timerbaev (Moscow, Russia)
Ambassador (Ret.), Executive Board Chair
Center for Policy Studies

Leonard Weiss (USA)
Former Staff Director of the U.S. Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs and chief architect of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Act of 1978

Praful Bidwai (India)
Senior journalist and author
Fellow of the Transnational Institute and co-winner of the IPB MacBride Prize

Dr. Helen Caldicott (Australia)
Co-founder of Physicians for Social Responsibility
Founder of Womens Action for Nuclear Disarmament
Founder Nuclear Policy Research Institute

Prof. Kamal Mitra Chenoy (New Delhi, India)
Professor of International Studies
Jawaharlal Nehru University

Noam Chomsky (Cambridge, Mass. USA)
Emeritus professor of linguistics and philosophy
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Joseph Cirincione (Washington, D.C., USA)
Senior Fellow and Director for Nuclear Policy
Center for American Progress

Gwynne Dyer (Canada)
Freelance journalist, columnist, broadcaster, and lecturer on international affairs

Trevor Findlay (Ottawa, Canada)
Director, Canadian Centre for Treaty Compliance
Associate Professor
Norman Paterson School of International Affairs

Frank von Hippel (Princeton, NJ, USA)
Professor of Public and International Affairs
Program on Science and Global Security
Princeton University

Wade L. Huntley, Ph.D. (Vancouver, Canada)
Director, Simons Centre for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Research
Liu Institute for Global Issues
University of British Columbia

Michiji Konuma
Member of The Committee of Seven for World Peace and Emeritus Professor of Keio University and Musashi Institute of Technology

Zia Mian (Princeton, NJ, USA)
Research Scientist, Program on Science and Global Security Princeton University

Dr. William C. Potter (Monterey, Calif., USA)
Sam Nunn and Richard Lugar Professor of Nonproliferation Studies
Monterey Institute of International Studies

M.V. Ramana (Bangalore, India)
Senior Fellow, Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Environment and Development

Ernie Regehr, O.C. (Canada)
Co-Founder Project Ploughshares
Adjunct Associate Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies, Conrad Grebel University College, University of Waterloo and Fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation

Sharon Squassoni (Washington, D.C. USA)
Senior Associate
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Tatsujiro Suzuki (Japan)
Member of Japan Pugwash Group
Co-founder of Peace Pledge, Japan

Tomihisa Taue
Mayor of Nagaski City (Japan)

Hideo Tsuchiyama (Japan)
Member of The Committee of Seven for World Peace
Emeritus Professor and former President of Nagasaki University

Hiromichi Umebayashi (Japan)
President, Peace Depot

Achin Vanaik (India)
Professor of International Relations and Global Politics
Department of Political Science, Delhi University
Fellow of the Transnational Institute (Co-recipient of the 2000 International Peace Bureau MacBride Prize)

Alyn Ware (New Zealand)
Vice-President of International Peace Bureau

International NGOs

Peter Becker
International Secretary
International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms

Regina Hagen
Coordinator
International Network of Engineers and Scientists Against Proliferation

Tomas Magnusson
President
International Peace Bureau (Recipient of the 1910 Nobel Prize for Peace)

Susi Snyder
Secretary General
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom

Rene Wadlow
Representative to UN, Geneva
Association of World Citizens

International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (Recipient of the 1985 Nobel Prize for Peace)

Associate Professor Tilman Ruff
Chair
International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War ICAN (International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons) Working Group

National and Local NGOs (listed by region)

South Asia

India

Dr Mahesh Kumar Arora
Secretary
Anubhooti Society (Jaipur, Rajasthan, India)

Dr. Prakash Louis
Bihar Social Institute (Patna, Bihar, India)

Harsh Kapoor
South Asians Against Nukes (India)

Prof. E. P. Menon
India Development Foundation (Bangalore India)

N.D.Pancholi
ConvenorChampa -The Amiya & B.G.Rao Foundation (New Delhi, India).

Sandeep Pandey
Asha Parivar (India)

Medha Patkar
National Alliance of People's Movements (India)

Sukla Sen
EKTA (Committee for Communal Amity) (Mumbai, India)

S. P. Udayakumar
Coordinator
People's Movement Against Nuclear Energy (Tamil Nadu, India)

Nepal

Ram Narayan Kumar
South Asia Forum for Human Rights (Kathmandu)

Pakistan

Aslam Khwaja
Executive Director
People's Development Foundation (Pakistan)

Sri Lanka

Upali Magedaragamage
Coordinator, Asian Network for Culture and Development (Maharagama, Sri Lanka)

South Asian Diaspora

Mr. Abi Ghimire
Canadian Network for Democratic Nepal (Canada)

Hari Sharma (President) and Board of Directors
South Asian Network for Secularism and Democracy (Vancouver, Canada)

Coalition for an Egalitarian and Secular/Pluralistic India (Los Angeles, CA, USA)

EKTA Los Angeles (Committee for Communal Amity) (Palos Verdes, CA, USA)

South Asia Forum (Huntington Beach, CA, USA)

East Asia

Japan

Shingo Fukuyama
Secretary General
Japan Congress Against A- and H-Bombs (Gensuikin)

Akira Kawasaki
Executive Committee
Peace Boat (Japan)

Ken’ichi Okubo
Executive Director
Japan Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms

Daisuke Sato
Secretary-general
NoNukes Asia Forum Japan

Yoshiko Shidara
Co-Director
Women's Democratic Club

Aileen Mioko Smith
Director
Green Action (Kyoto, Japan)

Hiroshi Taka
Secretary General
Japan Council against A- and H-Bombs (Gensuikyo)

Terumi Tanaka
Secretary General
Nihon Hidankyo (Japan Confederation of A- and H-bomb Sufferers) (Japan)
(Hidankyo was the recipient of the 2003 International Peace Bureau MacBride Prize)

Hiroshima Alliance for Nuclear Weapons Abolition

South Korea

Park Jin-Sup
Vice Director
Eco-Horizon Institute (Seoul, South Korea)

Park Jung-eun
Chief Coordinator, Center for Peace and Disarmament
People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy (South Korea)

Wooksik Cheong
Representative
Peace Network (Seoul, South Korea)

Europe

Austria

Heinz Stockinger
PLAGE (Salzburg Platform Against Nuclear Dangers) (Austria)

Belgium

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

Hans Lammerant
Bombspotting – Vredesactie (Belgium)

Finland

Laura Lodenius
Peace Union of Finland

France

Jean-Marie Matagne
President
Action des Citoyens pour le Désarmement Nucléaire
Action of Citizens for the total Dismantling of Nukes (France)

Pierre Villard
Co-president
Mouvement de la Paix (France)
Coordinateur de la Campagne pour le Désarmement Nucléaire

Germany

Rainer Braun
Executive Director
International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms, German section

Wolfgang Nees
Chairman
NaturwissenschaftlerInnen-Initiative "Verantwortung für Frieden und Zukunftsfähigkeit" (Germany)

Ingrid Schittich
Director
Association of World Citizens, German branch

Bundesverband der Deutschen Friedensgesellschaft - Vereinigte KriegsdienstgegnerInnen (Germany)

Komitee für Grundrechte und Demokratie (Germany)

International Fellowship of Reconciliation, German Branch

Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, German section

Ireland

Mary McCarrick and Emily Doherty
Executive Committee Members
Irish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament

Joe Murray
Director, Action from Ireland (AFRi)

Roger Cole
Peace and Neutrality Alliance (Ireland)

Italy

Albino Bizzotto,
President
Beati i costruttori di pace (Blessed Are the Peacemakers) (Italy)

Lisa Clark,
Nuclear Weapons Working Group
Rete Italiana per il Disarmo (Italian Disarmament Network)

Nicola Cufaro Petroni
Secretary General
Union of Scientists for Disarmament (USPID) (Italy)

Netherlands

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

Norway

Stine Rødmyr
Leader of No to Nuclear Weapons (Norway)

Sweden

Anna Lisa Eneroth (President) and
Alexandra Sundberg (Secretary General)
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Swedish section

Anna Ek
President
Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society

Frida Sundberg (President SLMK) and
Gunnar Westberg (Co-President IPPNW, member of SLMK Board)
Swedish Physicians Against Nuclear Weapons (SLMK)

United Kingdom

Kate Hudson
Chair, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (UK)

Dr. Rebecca Johnson
Executive Director
Acronym Institute for Disarmament Diplomacy (UK)

Jenny Maxwell
Chair
West Midlands Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament

Dave Webb
Chair
Yorkshire Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament

Middle East and Africa

Egypt

Nouri Abdul Razzak Hussain
Secretary-General
Afro-Asian People’s Solidarity Organization (Cairo)

Oceania

Australia

John Hallam
People for Nuclear Disarmament Nuclear Flashpoints Campaign (Sydney, Australia)

Don Jarrett
President, Australian Peace Committee (Australia)

Pauline Mitchell
Campaign for International Cooperation and Disarmament Melbourne (Australia)

David Noonan and Dave Sweeney
Nuclear Free Campaigners
Australian Conservation Foundation (Australia)

Cam Walker
National Liaison Officer, Friends of the Earth Australia

Dr Sue Wareham OAM
President
Medical Association for Prevention of War (Australia)

New Zealand

Dr Kate Dewes (Coordinator) and
Commander Robert D Green (Royal Navy (Ret'd))
Disarmament & Security Centre (Christchurch, New Zealand)

Barney Richards
National Secretary
Peace Council Aotearoa New Zealand

North America

Canada

Sr. Mary-Ellen Francoeur
President
World Conference of Religions for Peace (Canada)

Paul Hamel (President) and Phyllis Creighton (Secretary)
Science for Peace (Toronto Canada)

Laura Savinkoff
Boundary Peace Initiative (Canada)

Dr. Jennifer Simons
Simons Foundation (Canada)

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

Jessica West
Program Associate
Project Ploughshares (Waterloo, ON, Canada)

Physicians for Global Survival (Canada)

StopWar.ca (Canada)

United States of America

Rochelle Becker
Executive Director
Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility (San Luis Obispo, Ca, USA)

John Burroughs
Executive Director, Lawyers' Committee on Nuclear Policy (New York, USA)

Glenn Carroll
Coordinator, Nuclear Watch South (Atlanta, USA)

David Culp
Legislative Representative
Friends Committee on National Legislation (Quakers) (Washington, D.C. USA)

Mary Davis
Director of Yggdrasil, a project of Earth Island Institute (Lexington, KY, USA)

Keith Gunter
Citizens' Resistance at Fermi Two (Monroe, MI, USA)

David Hartsough
Executive Director
Peaceworkers (San Francisco, CA, USA)

Alice Hirt
Don't Waste Michigan (Holland, MI, USA)

Michael J. Keegan
Coalition for a Nuclear Free Great Lakes (Monroe, MI, USA)

Daryl G. Kimball,
Executive Director,
Arms Control Association (Washington, DC, USA)

David Krieger
President, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (New York, USA)

Terri Lodge
Coordinator
Arms Control Advocacy Collaborative (USA)

Michael McCally, M.D., Ph.D.
Executive Director
Physicians for Social Responsibility (Washington D.C., USA)

Christopher Paine
Director, Nuclear Program
Natural Resources Defense Council (Washington, D.C., USA)

Jon Rainwater
Executive Director
Peace Action West (Berkeley, California, USA)

Don Richardson, M.D.
Western North Carolina Physicians For Social Responsibility (Asheville, NC, USA)

Susan Shaer
Executive Director
Women's Action for New Directions (Washington, D.C., USA)

Alice Slater (New York, USA)
Convener, Abolition 2000 Sustainable Energy Working Group

Jennifer O. Viereck,
Director, HOME: Healing Ourselves & Mother Earth (Tecopa, CA, USA)

Sisters of St. Francis Center for Active Nonviolence (Clinton, Iowa, USA)