India has actively contributed to the global nuclear security architecture, he said

There was a need for the international community to pay closer attention to the illicit proliferation of networks of nuclear weapons, their delivery systems, components and relevant technologies, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said on Monday.

Speaking at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), Foreign Secretary Shringla
said India was committed to the goal of a weapons-free world and a complete elimination of nuclear weapons.

This was consistent with the highest priority accorded to nuclear weapons, nuclear disarmament by the final document of the First Session of the UN General Assembly on Disarmament, he noted.

According to Shringla, India believes that this goal can be achieved by a step-by-step process underwritten by a universal commitment and an agreed global non-discriminatory multilateral framework as outlined in India’s working paper on nuclear disarmament submitted to the United Nations General Assembly in 2006.

'CTBT did not address India's core concerns'

Speaking on the topic ‘Non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction: Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty’, he said India had participated in the negotiations on the draft CTBT in the conference on disarmament.

But it could not join the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) because it could not address New Delhi’s core concerns, he pointed out.

He said that India maintains a voluntary, unilateral moratorium on nuclear explosive testing.

India was the first country to call for a ban on nuclear testing in 1954 and a non-discriminatory treaty on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons as distinct from non-dissemination in 1965.

He stated that India has played a leading role in global efforts towards nuclear disarmament.

India would continue to work in the framework of disarmament triad consisting of the Conference on disarmament, the UN Disarmament Commission and the first Committee of the UN General Assembly to strengthen disarmament and non-proliferation architecture, Shringla added.

He noted that as the world’s sole multilateral negotiation forum, the Conference on Disarmament is well placed to advance the global disarmament agenda and negotiate legally binding instruments on the items of its core agenda.

Without prejudice to the priority we have attached to nuclear disarmament, India expressed its readiness to support the commencement of negotiations on a fissile material cut-off treaty in the Conference on disarmament on the mandate contained in CG/1299, the Foreign Secretary pointed out.

He said India has actively supported and contributed to the global nuclear security architecture.

India participated in the Nuclear Summit process and had regularly participated in the International Conference on Nuclear Security organized by IAEA, Shringla maintained.

India is also member of the Nuclear Security Contact Group, he added.
According to the Foreign Secretary, India is a key partner in global non-proliferation efforts.

He mentioned that one of the important steps undertaken by India in this context was the piloting of an annual UN General Assembly resolution on Measures to Prevent Terrorists from acquiring Weapons of Mass Destruction.

With the objective of strengthening the non-proliferation security architecture- India has joined various export control regimes, he explained further.

"We hope that the international community will continue to realize our collective aspiration of a nuclear-free world," FS Shringla remarked.