Anti-AUKUS Resolution: China withdrew a draft resolution it had submitted to the IAEA criticizing the AUKUS alliance for wanting to sell Australia nuclear-powered submarines. According to the sources, India’s “deft diplomacy” was instrumental in getting several smaller nations to vehemently reject the Chinese proposal.
Australia, the UK, and the US have a trilateral security arrangement known as AUKUS.
At the General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which was held in Vienna from September 26–30, 2022, India foiled Beijing’s attempts to get a resolution against AUKUS passed. Even though China had previously persuaded Global Times to publish an article about its impending success on September 28, it withdrew its draft resolution on September 30 after realizing that it would not receive majority approval.
Sources claim that India played a significant role in ensuring that several smaller countries take a strong stance against the Chinese proposal by using its “deft diplomacy.” Working together with several IAEA member nations, the Indian Mission to the IAEA in Vienna took an objective approach to the initiative and acknowledged the validity of the technical assessment carried out by the IAEA.
Sources claim that China attempted to adopt a resolution condemning the AUKUS for wanting to give Australia nuclear-powered submarines (but armed with conventional weapons). According to China, implementing this project would violate its commitments under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). It also criticized the IAEA’s performance in this area.
Discussions on the topic took place during the IAEA General Conference; according to sources, Western governments expressed trust in the IAEA and its AUKUS allies while developing states emphasized the need for more transparency and nonproliferation safeguards.
Anti-AUKUS Resolution: China’s Mission
The Permanent Mission of the People’s Republic of China requested that a topic titled “Transfer of nuclear materials in the context of AUKUS and its safeguards in all aspects under the NPT” be added to the agenda of the 66th (2022) regular session of the General Conference on August 23, 2022.
According to sources, the IAEA member states, especially the AUKUS allies, were extremely appreciative of India’s role and diplomatic maneuvers.
The IAEA’s policy-making bodies choose the organization’s budget and programme priorities. They consist of the 35-member Board of Governors and the General Conference of all Member States. Annually, and usually in September, the General Conference meets at the IAEA’s headquarters in Vienna. Five times a year, also in Vienna, the Board convenes.
India will serve on the board in 2021–2022.
The 35 board members for 2021-2022 come from the following countries: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Burundi, Canada, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Guatemala, India, Ireland, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Pakistan, Peru, Poland, Russian Federation, Senegal, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the United States of America.