Policy debates around participation in multilateral information-sharing mechanisms highlight fundamental tensions in nuclear-armed states between safety, national security, and international security. Assuring other states that fissile materials are securely managed against the global threats of illicit proliferation and nuclear terrorism is a widely recognized priority. Yet, there are compelling safety and security incentives for nuclear-armed states to keep information about their fissile material stocks secret. In South Asia, these tensions are further complicated by the unique histories of nuclear weapons in India and Pakistan and South Asian participation in global nuclear governance. Are voluntary information-sharing mechanisms regarding sensitive nuclear issues valuable?
In this SAV series, Muhammad Faisal, Maimuna Ashraf, Hina Pandey, and Pooja Bhatt respond to a recent paper by nuclear scholars Sharon Squassoni and Cindy Vestergaard. The paper proposes that South Asian nuclear-armed states voluntarily report their civilian plutonium holdings through participation in an existing multilateral mechanism, the Guidelines for the Management of Plutonium or INFCIRC/549. Contributors assess whether and how participation in multilateral information sharing on nuclear materials can enhance and/or hamper Indian and Pakistani national interests.
Voluntary information-sharing declarations can be a communication tool for nuclear-armed states with the potential to strengthen global security and stability. Declarations can help states send […]
In our essay entitled “Charting Nuclear Security Progress in South Asia,” we explored whether voluntary declarations on civilian plutonium under the existing INFCIRC/549 Guidelines on […]
Since India and Pakistan became nuclear-armed powers in 1998, the contentious and escalatory dynamics between these two rivals have been a point of concern not […]
The canvas of global nuclear issues is immense, encompassing three parallel and significant subsets: deterrence, nonproliferation, and nuclear security. However, in the last year or […]
Over the past three decades, the progressive accretion of nonproliferation agreements has led to greater transparency on nuclear materials worldwide. This has enabled the introduction […]
In its broadest sense, transparency refers to disclosing information that was earlier kept classified. In practice, transparency regarding the management of nuclear materials varies for […]