India welcomes the convening of the High-Level Plenary meeting to commemorate the International Day for Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons. It provides a valuable opportunity for the international community to reaffirm its commitment to global nuclear disarmament and to enhance public awareness about this very important topic, especially as in recent times, the possibility of use of nuclear weapons and the risk of nuclear escalation have been widely discussed in the public domain.
We are all cognizant of the fact that any use of nuclear weapons will have catastrophic consequences for humanity. India hopes that our deliberations today will take us closer to the collective aspiration for a nuclear-weapons-free-world.
India is firmly committed to the goal of universal, non-discriminatory and verifiable nuclear disarmament.
India’s proposal for a step-by-step approach for the total elimination of nuclear weapons, contained in our Working Paper submitted to the Conference on Disarmament in 2007, calls on the CD to negotiate a Comprehensive Nuclear Weapons Convention.
As the world’s single multilateral disarmament negotiating forum, as mandated by the Special Session on Disarmament (SSOD)-1, the Conference on Disarmament needs political will to agree on a Programme of Work and to commence negotiations on legally binding instruments on the core items on its agenda.
Without diminishing the priority that we attach to disarmament, 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.
India is a responsible nuclear weapon State and 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”.
India actively contributes to the work of the Disarmament Triad comprising the Conference on Disarmament, UN First Committee and the UN Disarmament Commission, to find lasting solutions to questions of global peace and security.
India’s annual resolution at the UNGA, tabled since 1982, on a "Convention on the Prohibition of the use of Nuclear Weapons”, requests the CD to commence negotiations on an international convention prohibiting the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons under any circumstances. India believes that a multilateral, universal and binding agreement prohibiting the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons would help generate necessary political will among nuclear weapon States to engage in negotiations leading to the ultimate elimination of nuclear weapons. India, through its UNGA resolution ‘Reducing Nuclear Danger’, has been drawing the attention of the world to the hair-trigger alert of nuclear weapons that carries the unacceptable risk of unintentional or accidental use of nuclear weapons leading to a nuclear war with catastrophic consequences.
India is an important partner in global efforts towards disarmament and non-proliferation. India has hosted a fully funded Annual Disarmament and International Security Fellowship Programme since 2019 to advance disarmament education.
We are hopeful that our work will further contribute to effective achievement of the total elimination of nuclear weapons and make the world a safer place. India stands ready to work with all countries towards the objective of a world free of nuclear weapons.
September 26, 2023