UN panel votes for nuclear arms ban, India abstains

Four of the five UN Security Council nuclear powers — Britain, France, Russia and the United States — voted against the resolution while China abstained, as did Pakistan, besides India.

Written by Shubhajit Roy | New Delhi | Updated: October 29, 2016 10:10 am
united nations nuclear weapon, un nuclear weapons ban, india nuclear weapons ban, india nuclear weapons, nuclear weapon ban united nations, un nuclear power, world news, indian express, UN General Assembly launched negotiations on a new treaty banning nuclear weapons. (Source: File Photo/Representational)

INDIA ABSTAINED Friday on a resolution by a UN General Assembly committee to launch negotiations on a new treaty banning nuclear weapons. Indian officials said they will present the explanation of vote (EoV) at the UN in the early hours of Saturday.

The resolution presented by Austria, Ireland, Mexico, Nigeria, South Africa and Brazil was adopted by a vote of 123 to 38, with 16 abstentions, following weeks of lobbying by the nuclear powers for “no” votes. Four of the five UN Security Council nuclear powers — Britain, France, Russia and the United States — voted against the resolution while China abstained, as did Pakistan, besides India.

“It’s tragic that India voted along with Pakistan and China,” said Mani Shankar Aiyar, who was chairman of then prime minister Manmohan Singh’s Expert Group on Nuclear Disarmament, 2010-11. “The pursuit of a world free of nuclear weapons has been a national objective for last 28 years, and India is neither with the naysayers nor with those who voted in favour… it’s a cowardly act,” Aiyar told The Indian Express.

The measure is expected to go to the full General Assembly for a vote in late November or early December. The non-binding resolution provides for negotiations to begin in March next year on the new treaty, citing deep concern over the “catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons”.

Opponents of the resolution argued that nuclear disarmament should be addressed within negotiations on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

Beatrice Fihn, executive director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, described the vote as a “historic moment”. “This treaty won’t eliminate nuclear weapons overnight. But it will establish a powerful, new international legal standard, stigmatising nuclear weapons and compelling nations to take urgent action on disarmament,” Fihn said.

Writing in The Indian Express early this week, Aiyar had predicted that India would likely abstain. “India is missing this opportunity of leadership. Is this sound statesmanship? Is this the way to win friends and influence people?” the article said.

“Among the most avid sponsors and supporters of tonight’s resolution is New Zealand. No wonder the visiting New Zealand PM has refused to fall in with Modi’s most ardent desire,” Aiyar wrote. “… We seem to think that as a self-declared nuclear weapons state, it is necessary to hypocritically proclaim our continuing commitment to a world without nuclear weapons without pro-actively participating in any international effort to nudge the world towards that end.”

With PTI inputs

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First Published on: October 29, 2016 1:09 am
  1. A
    Abhinav Gour
    Oct 29, 2016 at 4:48 am
    Mr Ayyar like personality who ask Mr Modi to sell tea at congress gathering while commenting on his past is worthless . A former officer then turned politician is non eny . Dont even discuss his ic uttrences .
    1. T
      Oct 29, 2016 at 1:03 pm
      "Four of the five UN Security Council nuclear powers — Britain, France, Russia and the United States — voted against the resolution." And then these countries go to war against countries that try to go nuclear! That is zpah!
      1. M
        Oct 29, 2016 at 4:08 am
        why feku shall not addressed monkey bath in UN upon NSG.
        1. A
          Anand Ch
          Oct 29, 2016 at 6:20 am
          Where is the rogue which has maximum pile of arms ? Why did China which thinks itself another bully has abstained ?
          1. C
            Oct 30, 2016 at 3:13 am
            The veto power should be taken away and the five permanent members should just be normal rotating members of the security council, otherwise UN does not have any meaning in its current form and shape.
            1. S
              Sanchayan Sarkar
              Nov 6, 2016 at 2:48 pm
              UN Permanent members must undergo reform otherwise it is becoming more and more useless.
              1. S
                Shibin Mathew
                Oct 29, 2016 at 5:01 am
                Wish we could see a nuclear weapons free world....
                1. S
                  Shyamal Ganguly
                  Oct 29, 2016 at 1:18 am
                  MANI SHANKAR AIYAR - Are yaar , eh to STANI MUSLIM hain.
                  1. S
                    Oct 29, 2016 at 3:32 pm
                    The democracy today is virtual and hijacked by corporate world. So all elite countries are working as agents of corporate world and in principle have lost moral right to preach value to third world. Today interest of elite world is to create ISIS like fighters, then play messiah to kill them, blame/scare other countries of such groups, and attack them and SELL MORE ARMS/WEAPONS. Any way the elite countries only have business interests as I told the democracy has been perfectly hijacked by corporates world as they are sole drivers of the economy/GDP and payers of government bills. So elite world is new danger to w world and it is currently looking to find ways to trigger WW3 to protect interest of CORPORATE ELITE of their countries. So don’t wonder new equations and new friendships of countries to emerge. However, do not forget what are ultimate target country/ countries of elite world to protect business interests of their corporates.
                    1. S
                      Sonia Ruth
                      Oct 29, 2016 at 6:39 am
                      If the money spent on make of nuclear arms had been spent for the upliftment of the society the world would have been 'more beautiful' today.what a waste elite made.
                      1. V
                        Oct 29, 2016 at 6:58 am
                        Dude he works as an author of NDTV too
                        1. V
                          vijay karthik
                          Oct 29, 2016 at 4:23 pm
                          what r u going to tell ?
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