Indian Ambassador to the UN Conference on Disarmament, Pankaj Sharma on Wednesday noted that India is a responsible nuclear weapon State and maintains a policy of credible minimum deterrence, based on a no-first-use posture and non-use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon States. Speaking at the 76th Session of the UN General Assembly, the Indian diplomat stated that global peace and security faces multiple and evolving threats – including weapons of mass destruction, terrorism and cyber threats.
Ambassador Sharma said that India has been unwavering in its commitment to the goal of universal, non-discriminatory and verifiable nuclear disarmament. “India’s proposal for a step-by-step approach for the total elimination of nuclear weapons, contained in our Working Paper submitted to the Conference on Disarmament in 2007, calls on the CD to negotiate a Comprehensive Nuclear Weapons Convention.” “Without prejudice to the priority that we attach to nuclear disarmament, we also support the immediate commencement of negotiations in the CD of a non-discriminatory, multilateral, internationally and effectively verifiable Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty (FMCT) on the basis of CD/1299 and the mandate contained therein,” he added.
The envoy stated that India is prepared to convert undertakings such as no-first-use posture and non-use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon States, into multilateral legal arrangements. “India remains committed to commencing negotiations on all three core issues related to nuclear disarmament in the CD and hopes that the CD will muster the political will to do so. India also remains committed to maintaining a unilateral and voluntary moratorium on nuclear explosive testing.”
Ambassador Sharma further said that India attaches high importance to the full and effective implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention and supports the strengthening of the OPCW to discharge its mandate. “India maintains that the use of chemical weapons anywhere, by anybody and under any circumstances cannot be justified and the perpetrators of such acts must be held accountable.” “India accords high priority to the universalisation and full and effective implementation of the BWC as well as further strengthening of the Convention through the negotiation of a comprehensive and legally binding protocol,” he added.