Disarmament India and UN





India has a long-standing commitment to the goal of general and complete disarmament based on the principles of universality, non - discrimination and verification and has played an active role in the international community’ s endeavors towards nuclear disarmament. As early as 1948, India called for limiting the use of atomic energy for peaceful purposes only and the elimination of atomic weapons from national armaments. India was the first country to call for a ban on nuclear testing in 1954. This was followed up by many other initiatives, for example, on the Partial Test Ban Treaty, and the call for international negotiations on nuclear non - proliferation of nuclear weapons. In 1978, India proposed negotiations for an international convention that would prohibit the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons. This was followed by another initiative in 1982 calling for a ‘nuclear freeze’ - i.e. prohibition on the production of fissile material for weapons, on production of nuclear weapons, and related delivery systems


In June 1988, Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi presented an ‘Action Plan for Ushering in a Nuclear - weapon free and Non - Violent World Order’ to the Third Special Session on Disarmament of the General Assembly in June 1988. The heart o f the Action Plan was the elimination of all nuclear weapons, in three stages by 2010 and it emphasized nuclear disarmament that is global, universal and non - discriminatory in nature.


India was compelled by considerations of national security to establish and adopt a policy of keeping its nuclear option open while it continued to work for global nuclear disarmament. After demonstrating nuclear capability in 1974, India exercised an unparalleled restraint in not weaponising its nuclear capability. It is relevant to recall, that during this period, when India voluntarily and totally desisted from testing, over 35,000 nuclear weapons were developed through a series of tests by states possessing nuclear weapons. India was obliged to stand apart on the CTBT in 1996 after having been actively engaged in the negotiations for two and a half years precisely because the issues of non - proliferation, global disarmament and India\'s concerns about its security and strategic autonomy were ignored


India\'s continued commitment to nuclear disarmament and non - proliferation was reflected in the voluntary measures announced by India after undertaking a limited series of underground nuclear tests in 1998. India has declared that it will maintain credible minimum nuclear deterrent and will not engage in an arms race. India supports a policy of a  ‘no - first - use’ and non - use of nuclear weapons against a non - nuclear weapon State. India is ready to join multilateral negotiations to endorse its commitment to no - first - use and non - use of nuclear weapons against non - nuclear weapons states in legally binding agreements.


India believes that a global no - first - use agreement will engender strategic stability and reduce the danger of the accidental or unintended use of nuclear weapons and would be the first step towards the de - legitimization of nuclear weapons. India remains the only State possessing nuclear weapons to call unambiguously for a Nuclear Weapons Convention to ban and eliminate nuclear weapons just as the Biological Weapons Conventio n (BWC) and the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) have banned the other two categories of weapons of destruction. India also submits annually to the UN General Assembly three resolutions - Convention on the prohibition of the use of nuclear weapons, Reduci ng Nuclear Danger and Measures to prevent terrorists from acquiring weapons of mass destruction.


In October 2006, India presented to the First Committee of the UN General Assembly a Working Paper on Nuclear Disarmament. The Working Paper underlined that progress towards the goal of nuclear disarmament will require a climate of mutual confidence in the international community to conclude universal, non - discriminatory and verifiable prohibition of nuclear weapons leading to their complete elimination.


Further, India shares the non - proliferation objectives of the international community. India has a comprehensive, stringent and effective system of export controls in line with the highest international standards. Global recognition of India’s impeccable non - proliferation record was evident in the opening of international civil nuclear cooperation with India in 2008


India abstained on the draft Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) that was sought to be adopted at the UNGA session on ATT in April 2013, since the draft fell well short of our expectations that the text be clear, balanced, im plementable and able to attract universal adherence. India’s consistent position has been to have an ATT that makes a real impact on illicit trafficking in conventional arms and their illicit use by terrorists and non - state actors, while safeguarding the p rinciple of right of all states to procure weapons for their security needs


India is a State Party to the Biological and Toxic Weapons Convention and Chemical Weapons Convention and has an exemplary record in their implementation. Specifically, India, in line with its obligations under the CWC has destroyed all its chemical weapons stockpiles within the Convention mandated timeframe under international (OPCW) verification. India has maintained a voluntary moratorium on nuclear explosive testing. India sup ports negotiations in the CD of an FMCT that is universal, nondiscriminatory and verifiable. India also supports international efforts to strengthen the present international legal framework to ensure the safety and security of space assets and to prevent the placement of weapons in the outer space. India remains strongly committed to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) which offers the only forum of a universal character that brings together all the main producers and users of major conventional weapons, thus ensuring that the instruments that emerge have a greater prospect of making a meaningful impact on the ground. India has contributed actively to UN efforts to strengthen regulation of small arms and light weapons as it believes that it is necessary to break the nexus between small arms proliferation and terrorism and organized crime