Pakistan is ramping up fissile material production
capabilities for military purposes while vetoing a fissile material cut-off
treaty negotiation at the Conference on Disarmament. India is also increasing
production capacity, but the FMCT’s problems extend well beyond these two states.
Non-aligned members at the CD believe a cut-off treaty isn’t ambitious enough,
and it’s hard to gin up much enthusiasm from Russia and China.
There is, however, some forward movement. Useful discussions
have begun in March in a newly-convened Group of Governmental Experts chaired
by Canada. India has a seat at this table. Pakistan, which voted against the
establishment of the GGE, is not among its 25 members. Pakistan has now felt
obliged to engage more substantively on these issues in parallel, informal
discussions at the CD. For the first time ever, two diplomatic channels are
wrestling with the challenges of dealing with fissile material production for
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