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Spokesperson's comments on NSG Plenary meeting in Seoul

June 24, 2016

The NSG concluded its Plenary meeting in Seoul today (June 24). India was not of course in the room. But we understand from our friends and well-wishers that discussions on expansion of membership, or what is called "Participation” in NSG, were certainly not hypothetical.

India made its application for membership on May 12th, reflecting the progress in its engagement with the NSG. As you may recall, we began this engagement in 2004. A decision on civil nuclear cooperation with India was adopted by consensus by the NSG in September 2008. Subsequent to that, regular discussions with NSG have taken place. The point to note is that this is not a new subject. In fact, it is one that has been discussed within the NSG at every Plenary since 2011.

Our application has acquired an immediacy in view of India’s INDC envisaging 40% non-fossil power generation capacity by 2030. An early positive decision by the NSG would have allowed us to move forward on the Paris Agreement.

We understand that despite procedural hurdles persistently raised by one country, a three hour long discussion took place last night on the issue of future participation in the NSG. An overwhelming number of those who took the floor supported India’s membership and appraised India’s application positively. We thank each and every one of them. It is also our understanding that the broad sentiment was to take this matter forward.

It has been suggested that India’s participation in the NSG requires it to join the NPT. Our stand on the NPT is well known. But let me underline that in September 2008, the NSG itself addressed this issue. Paragraph 1 (a) of the September 2008 decision states that the decision on India contributes to the "widest possible implementation of the provisions and objectives of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons”. There is thus no contradiction between the NPT and India's closer engagement with the NSG.

It is also our understanding that most countries want an early decision. A few countries raised issues regarding the process for India’s participation in the NSG. It is self-evident that process issues would not arise if these countries were actually opposed to our participation. This is corroborated by our own bilateral engagement with each of these countries.

India believes that an early decision on its application remains in larger global interest. India’s participation in the NSG will further strengthen nuclear non-proliferation and make global nuclear commerce more secure. It would advance energy security and make a difference to combating climate change. We are confident that the NSG will recognize these benefits as it deliberates further on this issue.

June 24, 2016

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