India on Monday said it will evolve technology against nuclear terrorism, not only for “physical protection” but also against cyber attacks. Without naming Pakistan, New Delhi said all countries must assume responsibility and should scrupulously abide by their respective international obligations.
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Addressing the IAEA Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Security in Vienna, Minister of State (External Affairs) M J Akbar said, “We, in India, will continue to evolve technology against nuclear terrorism not only in terms of physical protection measures, but also to guard against cyber intrusion and sabotage. We will also continue to maintain and enhance export controls, in particular intangible controls, to complement nuclear security measures. We invite the Agency to take the lead in promoting work on the technology dimension of nuclear security.”
He said recent developments showed that terrorist use of WMD materials is not a theoretical concern. “A breach of nuclear security could lead to unimaginable consequences. Our meeting is therefore critical, urgent and essential. It underlines the Agency’s central role in strengthening the global nuclear security framework, in facilitating national efforts on nuclear security, in fostering effective international cooperation, in setting future priorities and in forging technical and policy guidance. This meeting must carry forward the legacy of the Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) process,” he said, alluding to the NSS process started by US President Barack Obama.
Reiterating India’s commitment to global nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation and peaceful uses of nuclear energy, he said, “Few phrases in the language can wholly convey the magnitude of the potential danger of terrorists finding their way, while acting on their own or with the help of revanchist elements, to nuclear instruments. The sane world wants to prevent malignant actors from getting access to nuclear and radiological material.”
He said India has always held that nuclear security is the domain of national sovereignty but this national prerogative demands national responsibility. “All states must assume this responsibility and should scrupulously abide by their respective international obligations. Responsible national actions and effective international cooperation should be pursued together to prevent non-state actors and other malignant forces from threatening the lives of innocents on a mass scale,” he said.