United Nations : Reiterating its traditional policy of not using nuclear weapons first as well as not targeting countries without this capability, India has offered to enter into agreements incorporating the above principles, but ruled out joining the non-proliferation treaty (NPT). At a meeting of the UN General Assembly Committee on Disarmament and International Peace, Ambassador D.B. Venkatesh Varma, Indian Permanent Representative to the Conference on Disarmament, said, “As a responsible nuclear power, India has a policy of credible minimum deterrence based on a no-first-use policy, and non-use of nuclear weapons with countries that don’t have this capability.”

He added, “We are prepared to convert these into bilateral or multilateral legally binding arrangements.” While New Delhi is “Unwavering in its commitment to universal, non-discriminatory, verifiable nuclear disarmament”, he said, “There is no question of India joining the NPT (non-proliferation treaty) as a non-nuclear weapon state.” Analysts  highlight that it would require New Delhi unilaterally giving up nuclear weapons.

On another matter impacting the restriction of nuclear weapons, Varma offered New Delhi’s qualified support to the Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty (FMCT) negotiations.

“Without prejudice to the priority we attach to nuclear disarmament, we support the negotiation in the Conference on Disarmament of an FMCT that meets India’s national security interests,” he added. Such a treaty would stop the making of materials that could be used in nuclear weapons. Reintroducing a draft resolution on a Convention on the Prohibition of the Use of Nuclear Weapons, Varma criticised countries with nuclear weapons coverage that have repeatedly voted against the proposed measure since it was first introduced in 1982.

(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal