This bulletin highlights significant events in the world of arms control in the coming week, as compiled by staff and friends of the Arms Control Association. (Send your suggestions for events to be covered here.)
– Jefferson Morley,
Senior Editorial Consultant,
Arms Control Today
Biden Meets Indian officials on Nuclear Issues
In his July 22-25 visit to New Delhi and Mumbai, the Vice President is expected to press Indian authorities to approve changes to their nuclear liability laws that would enable U.S. nuclear vendors to operate in India. Five years ago the U.S. pushed the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) to allow an India-specific exemption to its full-scope safeguards requirement for civil nuclear trade. Now U.S. nuclear firms want to get into the Indian market but balk at the country’s liability laws in the event of a nuclear accident. At the same time, the United States is pressing the NSG to accept India as a member, a move that is opposed by a number of other NSG members states.
See: “NSG Revises List, Continues India Debate,” in the July/August 2013 issue of Arms Control Today .
Background: “NSG, Congress Approve Nuclear Trade with India,” in the October 2008 issue of Arms Control Today < >.
Deadlocked Conference on Disarmament Opens
On July 29, the 65-nation Conference on Disarmament (CD) begins its third and final session of 2013 in Geneva. The CD, which works by consensus, has not been able to agree to a program of work for several years as Pakistan has objected to the proposed terms for talks on a fissile material production cut-off treaty (FMCT). Meanwhile, Pakistan and India continue to produce fissile material for weapons.
The deadlock is a challenge to the CD. In a June 19 speech in Berlin,, President Obama renewed his call for negotiations on a treaty that would end the production of fissile materials for nuclear weapons, but did not provide any specifics on advancing the negotiations at the CD or through some alternative approach.
The impasse at the CD has led many nonnuclear weapons states to push for action on the broader nuclear disarmament agenda in other venues, including a group of governmental experts, a “high-level working group,” and a “high-level” UN General Assembly meeting on September 26 in New York. (See: “UN First Committee Seeks FMCT Progress,” in the December 2012 issue of Arms Control Today.)