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Eliminate nuclear weapons, says India

Indian envoy to the UN Nirupam Sen stresses the necessity for a global pact on "no first use" of N-weapons.
PTI | By Dharam Shourie, United Nations
UPDATED ON APR 09, 2008 12:18 PM IST

India has sought an "unequivocal commitment" from all nuclear-weapon states to prohibit development, production and stockpiling of nuclear weapons for their non-discriminatory and verifiable elimination within a specified framework.

Addressing the substantive session of the Disarmament Commission, Indian Ambassador to the United Nations, Nirupam Sen appealed to member states to use the UN forum for an intense dialogue and strengthen the international community to initiate concrete steps for a nuclear weapons-free world.

Sen also stressed the necessity for a global agreement on "no first use" of nuclear weapons and called for negotiation of a convention on complete prohibition of use or threat to use such arms.

He said former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi's "Action Plan", which is rooted in peace and proposed 20 years ago for a holistic framework to seek negotiations for a time-bound commitment towards a nuclear weapons-free world, remains the "most comprehensive" initiative today.

He asked the Commission to send a "strong signal" of the international community's resolve to initiate concrete steps towards achieving the objective of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.

Taking into account the global reach and menace of nuclear weapons, he said nuclear-weapon states should reduce nuclear danger, including the risk of accidental nuclear war and de-alert nuclear weapons to prevent unintentional and accidental use of nuclear weapons.

Sen also stressed on the need for reduction in conventional weapons and told the delegates that India supports "practical" confidence building measures (CBMs) at unilateral, bilateral, regional and global levels to promote a stable environment of peace and security among different nations.

"Guided by these principles, India has initiated several CBMs with countries in our neighbourhood, including China and Pakistan," he told the conference.

Sen asserted that implementation of an "appropriate" confidence measure in specific regions should take into account the specific political, military and other conditions prevailing in the region.

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