Joining nuclear ban treaty out of question, India reiterates at UN meet

31 October 2014

India has once again categorically repudiated the US-motivated nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, saying there is "no question" of it joining the treaty as a non-nuclear weapon state..

At the UN headquarters in New York, the First Committee of the 193-member UN General Assembly that deals with disarmament and international security issues approved a draft resolution on Thursday urging all member states that had not yet done so to sign and ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty.

Prior to approval of that draft as a whole, votes were polled on provisions, including on an operative paragraph, by which the UN Assembly would call on all those countries that have not joined the NPT to accede to it as non-nuclear weapon states.

The provision was retained by a recorded vote of 164 in favour; but the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, India and Israel voted against it.

In its explanation of its anti vote, India said it cannot accept the call to accede to NPT as a non-nuclear-weapon state.

"India's position on the NPT is well known. There is no question of India joining the NPT as a non-nuclear weapon state. Nuclear weapons are an integral part of India's national security and will remain so, pending non-discriminatory and global nuclear disarmament," the country's representative said.

The committee then took four recorded votes on a resolution 'Towards a nuclear weapon-free world: accelerating the implementation of nuclear disarmament commitments'.

The text was approved as a whole by a vote of 166 in favour to seven against, with Korea, France, India, Israel, Russian Federation, the UK and the US opposing it.

By another provision in the resolution, the Assembly would stress the fundamental role of NPT in achieving nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation and urge India, Israel and Pakistan to promptly accede to the Treaty as non-nuclear- weapon states and place all their nuclear facilities under IAEA safeguards.

The provision was retained by a recorded vote of 163 in favour with India, Israel, the US and Pakistan voting against.

In its explanation of vote, India said it remains committed to the goal of complete elimination of nuclear arms.

"We are concerned about the threat to humanity posed by the continued existence of nuclear weapons and their possible use or threat of use. India also shares the view that nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation are mutually reinforcing. We continue to support a time-bound programme for global, verifiable and non-discriminatory nuclear disarmament," it said.

India said in urging it to accede to NPT "promptly and without conditions," the draft resolution negates the rules of customary international law, as enshrined in the Vienna Law of Treaties, which provides that a state's acceptance, ratification or accession to a treaty is based on the principle of free consent.

India said it has noted that this year the resolution makes several references to the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons and urges its consideration in the NPT framework, a treaty that focuses exclusively on restraints on possession of nuclear weapons and is completely silent on restraints on use of nuclear weapons.

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