Us India Civil Nuclear Agreement

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One of the main challenges for India`s civil nuclear obligations with other countries is its non-signature status of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Two major obstacles to India`s acceptance into the global non-proliferation regime have been India`s nuclear weapons program and its strained relations with its neighbour, Pakistan (which is also a nuclear state). Several existing regional and international agreements prohibit the engagement of its signatories with non-NPT nuclear-weapon states, such as India. Although the NSG has granted India its own waiver, which enhances its ability to cooperate with key nuclear energy players, there remain obstacles that limit its ability to fully exploit the potential of civil nuclear cooperation with the international community. Former Indian president and Indian scientist A. P. J. Abdul Kalam also supported the agreement and noted that New Delhi could break its «voluntary moratorium» on the continuation of nuclear tests in the «greatest national interest.» [145] However, analyst M K Bhadrakumar discouraged. He said that the consensus on GSS had been reached on the «basis» of Pranab Mukherjee`s commitment to India`s voluntary moratorium on nuclear testing, and India therefore made a «multilateral commitment» that included it in the «scope of the CTBT and the NPT». [146] On October 1, 2008, the U.S. Congress definitively approved an agreement to facilitate nuclear cooperation between the United States and India. The agreement is seen as a turning point in U.S.-India relations and introduces a new aspect to international non-proliferation efforts.

The agreement, first presented in the joint statement by President Bush and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on July 18, 2005, overturns a three-decade U.S. moratorium on nuclear trade with India. It supports India`s civilian nuclear program and strengthens cooperation between the United States and India in the energy and satellite sector. But critics in the United States say the deal fundamentally reverses half a century of U.S. proliferation efforts, undermines attempts to prevent states like Iran and North Korea from acquiring nuclear weapons, and potentially contributes to a nuclear arms race in Asia. «This is an unprecedented agreement for India,» says Charles D. Ferguson, a science and technology fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. «If you look at the three countries outside the non-proliferation treaty – the Israeli, Indian and Pakistani nuclear weapons treaty, it is a single agreement.» India`s civilian nuclear agreements have been instrumental in its status as a responsible nuclear power.

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