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NPT not a UNSC pre-requisite

The US still wants India to the sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty but will not let its refusal come in its way to becoming a permanent member of the UN Security Council.

world Updated: Dec 04, 2010 23:37 IST
Yashwant Raj

The US still wants India to the sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty but will not let its refusal come in its way to becoming a permanent member of the UN Security Council.

“There is absolutely no contradiction between that recognition (of India’s increasing influence in world affairs) and US commitment to the NPT,” the US state department said in a statement on Friday.

State department spokesperson PJ Crowley was asked over a fortnight ago whether the US still wants India to sign the NPT and CTBT and how can it reconcile its support for India’s UNSC bid despite its refusal to sign.

India has refused to sign both the treaties calling them discriminatory. It wants to sign the NPT, which seeks to prevent spread of nuclear weapons, as a nuclear weapon state and not as a non-nuclear weapon state.

Nuclear weapon states are allowed to build and warehouse nuclear weapons. Non-nuclear weapon state cannot, and must forsake all plans of acquiring one — North Korea is an exception of course.

India finds CTBT, which seeks to end testing of nuclear weapons, inadequate. The treaty should dovetail into disarmament. India hasn’t signed the CTBT. The US has signed it — with China and some other countries — but not ratified the treaty. In a speech in Prague in 2009, president Barack Obama made it the goal of his administration and the country to push hard on non-proliferation and push for a world without nuclear weapons.

“There has been no change in the US position regarding nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament,” read the statement. “President Obama’s April 2009 speech in Prague envisioned a world without nuclear weapons.”

The support for India’s candidature of the UNSC, the statement said, comes because it “plays a significant and responsible role in the world today, and the UN Security Council should reflect the realities of the changed world of the 21st Century.”