India key to strengthening nuclear non-proliferation, says Foreign Secretary at UN


Harsh Vardhan Shringla
Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla | Photo: ANI

New York/New Delhi: India espouses the policy of “no first use” against nuclear weapon states and non-use against non-nuclear-weapon states, adding that New Delhi is a key partner in global efforts towards disarmament and strengthening the non-proliferation order, said Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla on Friday at the United Nations.

Speaking at the ‘International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons’, Shringla said, “India accords high priority to the Conference on Disarmament as the world’s single multilateral disarmament negotiating forum and supports the commencement of negotiations on a Comprehensive Nuclear Weapons Convention.” He further said that India reiterates its longstanding and unwavering commitment to universal, verifiable and non-discriminatory nuclear disarmament leading to complete elimination of nuclear weapons.

India’s approach to nuclear disarmament has encapsulated in its working paper submitted to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) First Committee in 2006 and to the Conference on Disarmament in 2007, the Foreign Secretary said.

“We believe that nuclear disarmament can be achieved through a step-by-step process underwritten by a universal commitment and an agreed multilateral framework. India remains convinced of the need for meaningful dialogue among all States possessing nuclear weapons, for building trust and confidence,” Shringla said.

He also said, “India’s annual resolution in the UNGA on the ‘Convention on the Prohibition of the Use of Nuclear Weapons’ tabled since 1982, enjoys wide support and reaffirms that any use of nuclear weapons would be a violation of the UN Charter and a crime against humanity”.

Foreign Secretary further hoped that the disarmament event would bring the focus of the international community on the need to mobilize global will towards a nuclear-weapons-free world. He went on to quote Mahatma Gandhi, saying, “Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.”

The UNGA held a high-level meeting to commemorate the ‘International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons’. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many leaders spoke by pre-recorded video to call for a nuclear-weapon-free world.