Masthead graphic based on a painting by Gudrun Thriemer.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

"NPT RIP and reflections on consensus," September 6, 2008.

"...for the first time in my experience of international diplomatic negotiations, a consensus decision was followed by complete silence in the room. No clapping, nothing. It showed a lot of us felt pressured...

VIENNA, Sept 6 (Reuters) - Forty-five nations approved a U.S. proposal on Saturday to lift a global ban on nuclear trade with India in a breakthrough towards sealing a U.S.-Indian atomic energy deal.

One hurdle remained before the U.S.-India deal can take force -- ratification by the U.S. Congress. It must act before adjourning in late September for elections or the deal could be left to an uncertain fate under a new U.S. administration.

The U.S.-India deal raised international misgivings since India has shunned the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) meant to stop the spread and production of nuclear weapons and mandate gradual disarmament, and a companion test ban pact.

Washington says the fuel and technology deal would forge a strategic partnership with the world's largest democracy, help India meet rising energy demand in an environmentally sound way and open a nuclear market worth billions of dollars.

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