India on Tuesday said that it remains committed to universal, non-discriminatory and verifiable nuclear disarmament. Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Gopal Baglay made the statement in a response to India’s view on a treaty to ban nuclear weapons. A UN Conference on July 7 this year adopted the treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons.
The treaty through an inclusive multilateral process in the United Nations framework, which involved both sates and members of civil society, is the culmination of three international conferences held between 2012 and 2014 that considered the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of the use of nuclear weapons and their associated risks.
Baglay said that India, however, did not participate in the negotiations on a treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons which were concluded in New York on July 7 this year, adding that also, none of the other states possessing nuclear weapons participated in the negotiations.
“These negotiations were conducted under UN General Assembly rules of procedure, pursuant to UN General Assembly Resolution 71/258 of 23 December 2016. India had abstained on this Resolution and provided a detailed Explanation of Vote. India had further expressed its position on the issue of its non-participation in these negotiations at a Plenary of the Conference on Disarmament on 28 March 2017,” he said.
Baglay further said that India, therefore, cannot be a party to the treaty, and so shall not be bound by any of the obligations that may arise from it. He added that India believes this treaty in no way constitutes or contributes to the development of any customary international law.
“India reiterated its commitment to the goal of a nuclear weapon free world. India believes that this goal can be achieved through a step-by-step process underwritten by a universal commitment and an agreed global and non-discriminatory multilateral framework. In this regard, India supports the commencement of negotiations on a comprehensive Nuclear Weapons Convention in the Conference on Disarmament, which is the world’s single multilateral disarmament negotiation forum working on the basis of consensus,” he added.