Stand united against nuclear threat: India to international community

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India has said there is a need for the international community to stand united against those whose persistent violations increase nuclear threat and proliferation risks and exercise "utmost vigilance" against terrorist groups gaining access to weapons of mass destruction.

"India's support for global, non-discriminatory, verifiable nuclear disarmament in a time-bound manner remains firm," Ambassador
, Permanent Representative of India to the Conference on Disarmament, Geneva said on Thursday.

"This goal can be achieved by a step by step process underwritten by a universal commitment and an agreed multilateral framework that is global and non-discriminatory," Varma said.

He said in a general debate of the UNGA's First Committee that a meaningful dialogue among all states possessing nuclear weapons can build trust and confidence.

Varma said that reducing the salience of nuclear weapons in international affairs and security doctrines, with the aim of increasing restraints on the use of nuclear weapons can be an essential first step.

"The current complex international environment is in need of measures to enhance strategic trust globally. At the same time, there is a need for the international community to stand united against those whose persistent violations increase nuclear threat and proliferation risks," he said.

Varma underscored that as a responsible nuclear power, India's nuclear doctrine continues to stress a policy of credible minimum deterrence with a posture of no-first-use and non-use against non-nuclear weapon states.

"We remain committed to maintaining a unilateral and voluntary moratorium on nuclear explosive testing," he said.

Varma said India supports strengthening global non-proliferation objectives and the international community should continue to exercise utmost vigilance against terrorist groups gaining access to Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and related materials and technologies.

India would be willing to host a Conference in 2018 aimed at strengthening international resolve in facing the challenge of the WMD-terrorism nexus.

India also supports strengthening the international legal regime to protect and preserve access to space for all and to prevent, without exceptions, the weaponisation of Outer Space, Varma said.

India continues to keep the Arms Trade Treaty under review from the perspective of its defence, security and foreign policy interests.

"At the same time, India continues to strengthen its controls over the export of conventional weapon systems and participate in the UN Register on Conventional Arms," he said.

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