India has acceded to an international code of conduct against indiscriminate spread of ballistic missile technology, reaffirming its commitment to global non-proliferation objectives and proving its eligibility to be a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).
India joined the Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation (HCoC) by notifying Austria, the designated ''central contact'' of the convention, official spokesperson of the ministry of external affairs, Vikas Swarup, told journalists in New Delhi on Thursday.
''India's joining the Code signals our readiness to further strengthen global non-proliferation objectives,'' the MEA stated in its website.
The HCoC, adopted in 2002, is a voluntary, legally non-binding international confidence building and transparency measure that seeks to prevent the proliferation of ballistic missiles that are capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction.
In a press release, the United States said it welcomed India's decision, and urged all non-member countries to join the HCoC.
India's accession takes the number of nations subscribing the HCoC against ballistic missile proliferation to 138.
China, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea are among the nations, which are yet to accede to the code despite having significant missile development capability.
India, which did not sign the NPT, had been kept outside the global non-proliferation regime till 2008. The Nuclear Supplier Group, which controls global atomic material and technology trade, however granted an exemption to India in 2008, despite its ''non-NPT'' status.
India is now ready to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group for which it has the support of the US for its entry into the exclusive club, but is being opposed by China, which backs Pakistan against India.