AUKUS Initiative

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    Context

    • China withdrew a draft resolution against the AUKUS alliance at the general conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna due to lack of support.

    About the Resolution

    • The draft resolution, which argued that the AUKUS initiative violated the responsibilities of Australia, the UK and the US under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
    • The draft resolution also criticised the IAEA’s role in this regard.
    • The AUKUS partners and the IAEA say the NPT allows marine nuclear propulsion provided necessary arrangements are made with the IAEA.

    India’s Stand on Resolution

    • India took an “objective view” of the AUKUS initiative while recognising the soundness of the technical evaluation done by the IAEA. 

    AUKUS alliance

    • Under the AUKUS alliance, Australia plans to acquire at least eight nuclear-powered submarines. 
    • The alliance has largely been seen as a response by the three countries (Australia, the U.K. and the U.S.) to the increasingly aggressive and assertive behaviour of China across the Indo-Pacific. 
    • India has close defence and strategic ties with all three members of AUKUS.

    International Atomic Energy Agency

    • Popularly known as the world’s “Atoms for Peace and Development” organisation, the IAEA is the international centre for cooperation in the nuclear field.
    • It was established on 29th July 1957 as an autonomous organisation, at the height of the Cold War (1945-1991) between the US and the Soviet Union.
      • Post World War II (1945), the world got divided into two power blocs dominated by two superpowers, the Soviet Union and the US.
      • The two superpowers were primarily engaged in an ideological war between the capitalistic ideals of the West versus the communist ideals of the East.
      • It came to an end after the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991.
    • Though established independently of the UN through its own international treaty, the agency reports to both the UN General Assembly and the Security Council.
    • It works with the member states and multiple partners worldwide to promote the safe, secure and peaceful use of nuclear technologies.
    • Functions and Contributions:
      • As the preeminent nuclear watchdog, the IAEA is entrusted with the task of upholding the principles of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, 1970.
      • Deals with the sovereign states and their pursuit of civil and military nuclear programmes.
      • It is also active in championing civil nuclear solutions to a number of areas like health, which is one of the main areas of peaceful application of nuclear know-how.
      • In recent years, the IAEA is also active in dealing with climate change, pandemic containment and in the prevention of Zoonotic diseases.

    Source: Diplomat