Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla
Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla

India at disarmament conference says committed to no first use of nukes, supports negotiations on FMCT

ANI | Updated: Feb 22, 2021 19:11 IST

New Delhi [India], February 22 (ANI): India as a responsible nuclear weapon state has reiterated its position of no first use of nuclear weapons and said it is committed as per its nuclear doctrine to maintain credible minimum deterrence with the posture of no-first-use and non-use against non-nuclear-weapon states, Foreign Secretary Harsh Shiringla said on Monday.
Addressing a high-level segment conference on Disarmament under the Presidency of Brazil, Shringla said, India is committed to the goal of universal, non-discriminatory and verifiable nuclear disarmament.
"Our call for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons through a step-by-step process, as also outlined in our Working Paper on Nuclear Disarmament submitted to the Conference of Disarmament in 2007 (CD) has enduring relevance," he said.
India reiterates its call to undertake the steps outlined in the Working Paper, including negotiation in the CD of a Comprehensive Nuclear Weapons Convention, the foreign secretary added.
New Delhi has also expressed support for negotiations of the Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty (FMCT).

"India has supported the immediate commencement of negotiations in the CD on a Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty (FMCT) on the basis of CD/1299 and the mandate contained therein, which remains the most suitable basis for negotiations. I reaffirm today, India's readiness to participate in FMCT negotiations in the CD," Shringla said.
India also underlined the issue of the arms race in outer space in the conference and urged members to start negotiations on the legally binding instrument, the foreign secretary said.
"Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space (PAROS), is another long-standing item on the CD's agenda. India looks forward to an early start of negotiations of a legally binding instrument on PAROS to address pressing issues relating to space security.
A fissile material cut-off treaty (FMCT) is a proposed international pact that would stop the production of highly-enriched uranium (HEU) and plutonium. Several discussions on this subject have taken place at the UN Conference on Disarmament (CD ) but the stalemate continues as the CD a body of 65 nations operates by consensus.
Shringla said that this conference has been plagued for too long by fear, suspicion, and mistrust.
"As Mahatma Gandhi said, the only cure for fear is faith; for suspicion, sincerity; and for mistrust, trust," he said
"This is just what the Conference needs today, to break its long deadlock and make concrete progress. India stands ready to play its role and work with fellow member states to achieve our collective objectives," he added. (ANI)