Strongly favouring total elimination of weapons of mass destruction, India has said its vision of “universal, non-discriminatory and comprehensive” nuclear disarmament was “more relevant” today as peaceful use of nuclear energy can help fuel development.
"It is disarmament that is our agreed goal and that subsumes arms control and non-proliferation,” External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said, adding India would bring a proposal in the United Nations General Assembly to refocus on general and complete disarmament, particularly nuclear disarmament.
Addressing the 192-member UN General Assembly here on Monday evening, he pointed that steps to achieve complete elimination of nuclear weapons have made “little headway” and “despite some progress, the world remains far from achieving the objective”.
Warning that the threat posed by the linkage between proliferation and terrorism was “very real”, Mukherjee called for intensified efforts by the world community to address the issue.
His speech underlined India's aspiration for a permanent membership of UN Security Council, and called for inter-governmental negotiations for the reform of the world body to make it “more democratic, representative and responsive”.
Mukherjee stressed that the international system could not be “reordered meaningfully” without comprehensively reforming the world body. Any reform without expanding the 15-member Council and revitalising the Assembly would be incomplete, he said.
The UN should not remain “mired in the realities of 1940s”, he stressed, adding “it is now time for inter-governmental negotiations to commence in order to make the Security Council more democratic, representative and responsive”.
India is an aspirant for membership of the expanded UN Security Council. To push for UN reforms, India along with Japan, Germany and Brazil have formed a grouping — G-4, which is expected to give a fresh impetus to their campaign during the current session of the Assembly.
Welcoming statements at the ongoing high-level segment of the Assembly session by US President George W. Bush and other world leaders on the need for expansion of the Council in both permanent and non-permanent categories, Mukherjee said, “It is high time that we collectively brought these ideas to implementation."