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'India attaches highest priority to nuclear disarmament'

world Updated: Sep 27, 2009 09:30 IST

Welcoming the renewed global debate on achieving a world free of nuclear weapons, India says it attaches "the highest priority" to nuclear disarmament and stands committed to safeguarding international peace and security.

"India attaches the highest priority to the goal of nuclear disarmament and has an impeccable non-proliferation record," Indian External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna said participating in the annual debate of the UN General Assembly here Saturday.

"We welcome the renewed global debate on achieving a world free of nuclear weapons," he said noting, "This corresponds with India's longstanding and consistent advocacy of nuclear disarmament as one of the highest priority of the international community."

India had put forward a number of proposals on nuclear disarmament in the UN, including a Working Paper in 2006, proposing elements to fashion a new consensus on disarmament and non-proliferation, he recalled.

Krishna also appealed for assistance to developing countries in combating the impact of climate change.

"Developing countries must be supported financially, technologically and with capacity building resources so that they can cope with the immense challenges of adaptation," he said.

Turning to peacekeeping in conflict zones, Krishna said India stands committed to the safeguarding of international peace and security over the past five decades. New Delhi had contributed more than 100,000 peacekeepers and had suffered the highest number of casualties in these decades, he noted.

"Strengthening the normative basis for peacekeeping operations and giving major Troop Contributing Countries (TCCs) a greater say, will serve to make peacekeeping more effective," he said.