Committed to nuclear disarmament but can’t be party to UN treaty, says India | india news | Hindustan Times
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Committed to nuclear disarmament but can’t be party to UN treaty, says India

India did not participate in negotiations for a treaty in the prohibition of nuclear weapons at the United Nations, saying it did not contribute to the development of any customary international law.

india Updated: Jul 18, 2017 21:52 IST
HT Correspondent
India’s Prithvi-II is a nuclear-capable missile. India did not participate in the negotiations on a treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons held in New York last week.
India’s Prithvi-II is a nuclear-capable missile. India did not participate in the negotiations on a treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons held in New York last week. (DRDO official website)

India on Tuesday said it was committed to non-discriminatory and verifiable nuclear disarmament in a bid to justify why it boycotted negotiations for a treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons at the United Nations.

The treaty, the first multilateral legally-binding instrument for nuclear disarmament, was adopted last week at the UN in New York.

India and other nuclear-armed nations – the US, Russia, Britain, China, France, Pakistan, North Korea and Israel, did not participate in the negotiations.

External affairs ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay said India believes that the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in no way constitutes or contributes to the development of any customary international law.

“India continues to attach priority to and remains committed to universal, non-discriminatory and verifiable nuclear disarmament. India, however, did not participate in the negotiations on a treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons which were concluded in New York on 7 July 2017. Also, none of the other States possessing nuclear weapons participated in the negotiations,” he said.

He said India’s explanation of vote while abstaining from the resolution explains its position.

“In its EoV (explanation of vote), India had said it was “not convinced” that the proposed conference could address the longstanding expectation of the international community for comprehensive instrument on nuclear disarmament.

“India, therefore, cannot be a party to the treaty, and so shall not be bound by any of the obligations that may arise from it. India believes that this treaty in no way constitutes or contributes to the development of any customary international law,” the MEA spokesperson added.

He said India stands for the goal of a nuclear weapon-free world, and said it believes that this goal can be achieved through a step-by-step process underwritten by a universal commitment and an agreed global and non- discriminatory multilateral framework.

“In this regard, India supports the commencement of negotiations on a comprehensive Nuclear Weapons Convention in the Conference on Disarmament, which is the world’s single multilateral disarmament negotiation forum working on the basis of consensus,” Baglay added.

Full statement

Response by the Official Spokesperson to a media query regarding India’s view on the Treaty to ban nuclear weapons

July 18, 2017

In response to a query regarding India’s view on a Treaty to ban nuclear weapons, the Official Spokesperson said that India continues to attach priority to and remains committed to universal, non-discriminatory and verifiable nuclear disarmament.

India, however, did not participate in the negotiations on a Treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons which were concluded in New York on 7 July 2017. Also, none of the other States possessing nuclear weapons participated in the negotiations.

These negotiations were conducted under UN General Assembly rules of procedure, pursuant to UN General Assembly Resolution 71/258 of 23 December 2016. India had abstained on this Resolution and provided a detailed Explanation of Vote. India had further expressed its position on the issue of its non-participation in these negotiations at a Plenary of the Conference on Disarmament on 28 March 2017.

India, therefore, cannot be a party to the Treaty, and so shall not be bound by any of the obligations that may arise from it. India believes that this Treaty in no way constitutes or contributes to the development of any customary international law.

India reiterates its commitment to the goal of a nuclear weapon free world. India believes that this goal can be achieved through a step-by-step process underwritten by a universal commitment and an agreed global and non-discriminatory multilateral framework. In this regard, India supports the commencement of negotiations on a comprehensive Nuclear Weapons Convention in the Conference on Disarmament, which is the world’s single multilateral disarmament negotiation forum working on the basis of consensus.