India has ruled out the possibility of joining the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) as a non-nuclear weapon state but said it remains “committed” to a unilateral voluntary moratorium on nuclear explosive testing. “The question of India joining the NPT as NNWS (non- nuclear weapon states) does not arise,” Permanent Representative of India to the Conference on Disarmament Amandeep Singh Gill told the UN General Assembly yesterday. Speaking at a thematic debate on nuclear weapons, he said that India’s position on the NPT is well-known and should require no reiteration. At the same time, Gill said, India supports upholding and strengthening global non-proliferation objectives, in particular the full and effective implementation by States of their obligations arising from the relevant agreements and treaties, including the NPT. Despite being a non-party, India abides by the principles and objectives of the NPT, including its nuclear disarmament aspirations, he said, adding that India is committed to making its contribution to strengthening non-proliferation. The NPT is an international treaty whose objective is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, to foster the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, and to further the goal of disarmament.
Nuclear-weapon States parties under the NPT are defined as those that manufactured and exploded a nuclear weapon or other nuclear explosive device before January 1, 1967. “We have updated our agenda; and hope our friends will renew theirs and focus on the real implementation deficits on non-proliferation and disarmament,” Gill said in an apparent dig at Pakistan. He said that as a responsible nuclear power, India has a policy of credible minimum deterrence based on a No-First Use posture and non-use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapon states. “We remain committed to maintaining a unilateral voluntary moratorium on nuclear explosive testing,” he said. Observing that India did not participate in the negotiations leading to the adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, Gill said as a result New Delhi cannot be a party to the treaty, and shall not be bound by any of the obligations that may arise from it.
“As in the past, India remains ready to work with the signatories to the treaty for progress in multilateral forums on the shared goal of the global elimination of nuclear weapons,” he said. Referring to the missile tests and nuclear test conducted by North Korea, Gill said that it is a matter of deep concern that Pyongyang has acted in violation of its international commitments and against the objective of the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. He called upon North Korea to refrain from such actions which adversely impact peace and stability in the region. Gill also said that India remains concerned about proliferation of nuclear and missile technologies, which has adversely impacted its national security. “The international community should take a united stand against those who indulge in or benefit from clandestine proliferation linkages,” Gill said.