India has played a leading role in global efforts for nuclear disarmament and is committed to the goal of a nuclear weapons-free world, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla told the United Nations on Monday. Shringla made the remarks at a meeting of the UN Security Council meeting on non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
He noted that India was the first country to call for a ban on nuclear testing in 1954.
“India is committed to the goal of a nuclear weapons free world and complete elimination of nuclear weapons, consistent with the highest priority accorded to nuclear disarmament by the Final Document of the First Special Session of the UN General Assembly on Disarmament,” he said.
Shringla said that the elimination of such weapons can be achieved through a universal commitment and a global and non-discriminatory multilateral framework.
The foreign secretary said that India could not join the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty as it did not address a number of “core concerns” raised by the country. He, however, said that India maintains a voluntary, unilateral moratorium on nuclear explosive testing.
In the past, India has said that it will join the CTBT only if there was no discrimination in favour of five countries recognised as possessing nuclear weapons – China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States – in terms of complete elimination of the weapons.
Shringla on Monday said that India was a key partner in global non-proliferation efforts, and has actively contributed to the strengthening of the global nuclear security architecture.
“India participated in the Nuclear Security Summit process and has regularly participated in the International Conferences on Nuclear Security organized by the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency],” he noted. “India is also a member of the Nuclear Security Contact Group.”
Meanwhile, Shringla also called on the international community to “pay closer attention to the illicit proliferation of networks of nuclear weapons, their delivery systems, components and relevant technologies.”
He noted that India has piloted an annual UN General Assembly resolution on “Measures to Prevent Terrorists from Acquiring Weapons of Mass Destruction” since 2002.