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Nuclear non-proliferation requires support of all: India

DB Venkatesh Varma

United Nations : India has stressed on the need for the international community to ensure that terrorists are prevented from gaining access to nuclear weapons and other sensitive materials and technologies, saying strengthening the global objective of non-proliferation requires support of all.

“Strengthening the global objectives of non-proliferation requires the support of all states and the full and effective implementation of obligations arising from the respective agreements and treaties. India is committed to making its contribution including through participation in the multilateral export control regimes,” India’s Permanent Representative to the Conference on Disarmament, Geneva, Ambassador DB Venkatesh Varma said here.

The international community has a vital interest in preventing terrorists from gaining access to nuclear weapons and other sensitive materials and technologies, he said at a debate on nuclear weapons at the First Committee of the 70th Session of the General Assembly.

He said achieving nuclear disarmament requires a step-by- step process underwritten by a universal commitment and an agreed global and non-discriminatory multilateral framework.

“Reducing the role of nuclear weapons is the first step along the path of progressive steps towards their de-legitimisation and achieving nuclear disarmament,” he said.

“Increasing restraints on use of nuclear weapons would reduce the probability of their use — whether deliberate, unintentional or accidental,” Varma said adding that India has called for a meaningful dialogue among all nuclear-weapon states to build confidence and for reducing the salience of such weapons in international affairs and security doctrines.

He noted that India, as a responsible nuclear power, has a policy of credible minimum deterrence based on a ‘No First Use’ policy and no-use of nuclear weapons against a non- nuclear weapon states.

“We are prepared to convert these into bilateral or multilateral legally binding arrangements. India’s position on the NPT is well-known and needs no reiteration. There is no question of India joining the NPT as a non-nuclear weapon state,” he said.

India presented a draft resolution on a Convention on the Prohibition of the Use of Nuclear Weapons, which is one of the long-standing resolutions in the First Committee.

Another draft resolution entitled ‘Measures to prevent terrorists from acquiring weapons of mass destruction’ has enjoyed strong support and a large number of co-sponsors reflect the continuing concerns of the international community with respect to the risks posed by terrorists gaining access to WMDs and sensitive materials and technologies, he said.

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