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Foreign Secretary’s Address at the UNSC meeting on "Non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction: Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty"

September 27, 2021

Mr. President,

I would like to thank you for giving us this opportunity to express our views on the issues of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. May I also take this opportunity to felicitate you and the delegation of Ireland for a very successful Presidency of the Security Council. I would like to thank Ms Izumi Nakamitsu, High Representative for Disarmament Affairs. Mr. Robert Floyd, Executive Secretary of the CTBTO, Ms. Magdalene Wangui Wanyaga, member of the CTBTO youth, for their briefings.

Mr. President,

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

India is committed to the goal of a nuclear weapons free world and complete elimination of nuclear weapons, consistent with the highest priority accorded to nuclear disarmament by the Final Document of the First Special Session of the UN General Assembly on Disarmament (SSOD-I).

We believe 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, as outlined in India’s Working Paper on Nuclear Disarmament submitted to the UN General Assembly in 2006.

Mr. President,

As to the theme of today’s discussion, India had participated in the negotiations of the draft CTBT in the Conference on Disarmament. But, India could not join the Treaty as the Treaty did not address a number of core concerns raised by India.

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

Mr. President,

India would continue to work in the framework of the Disarmament Triad consisting of the Conference on Disarmament, the UN Disarmament Commission and the First Committee of the UN General Assembly, to strengthen nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation architecture. As the world’s sole multilateral disarmament negotiating forum, the Conference on Disarmament is well placed to advance the global disarmament agenda and negotiate legally binding instruments on items on its core agenda.

Without prejudice to the priority we attach to nuclear disarmament, India has expressed its readiness to support the commencement of negotiations on a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT) in the Conference on Disarmament on the basis of the mandate contained in CD/ 1299. In this context, India has also participated in the work of the Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) on FMCT and the High-level Preparatory Group (HLEPG) on FMCT. Furthermore, India has contributed to the GGE on Nuclear Disarmament Verification through its membership of the earlier and the current Group of Governmental Experts which will meet later this year in Geneva.

Mr. President,

India has actively supported and contributed to the strengthening of the global nuclear security architecture. India participated in the Nuclear Security Summit process and has regularly participated in the International Conferences on Nuclear Security organized by the IAEA. India is also a member of the Nuclear Security Contact Group.

India is a key partner in the global non-proliferation efforts. One of the important steps undertaken by us in this context is the piloting of an annual UN General Assembly Resolution on "Measures to Prevent Terrorists from Acquiring Weapons of Mass Destruction” since 2002, which is adopted by consensus. The Security Council Resolution 1540 is an important instrument for global non-proliferation efforts. There is 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.

With the objective of strengthening the non-proliferation architecture, India has also joined various export control regimes namely, Australia Group, Wassenaar Arrangement, Missile Technology Control Regime and has harmonized its controls with the Nuclear Suppliers Group lists.

We hope that the international community will continue to work towards realizing our collective aspiration for a nuclear weapons free world.

In closing, I would like to recognize the efforts of the UN Secretariat and the UN Office of Disarmament Affairs towards the goal of a nuclear weapons free world.

I thank you Mr. President.

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