Non-proliferation no substitute for n-disarmament: Narayanan

Calling for an ‘unequivocal commitment’ by all countries to eliminate nuclear weapons...

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: February 8, 2009 1:31 am

Calling for an ‘unequivocal commitment’ by all countries to eliminate nuclear weapons,India has reiterated that non-proliferation did not have much meaning in the absence of complete and total nuclear disarmament.

Speaking at the Munich Security Conference,National Security Advisor M K Narayanan said on Friday that India had always been and continued to be “a strong and unwavering” advocate of global nuclear disarmament.

“Non-proliferation cannot be an end in itself,and has to be linked to effective nuclear disarmament,” he said.

Narayanan said it was unfortunate that despite the end of the Cold War,there had been no change in the centrality of nuclear weapons in the security doctrines of major nuclear weapons countries. He said it was time that all countries reaffirmed their commitment to eliminating nuclear weapons.

“Commitments must be clear and unambiguous and convey some urgency in achieving these goals. This would apply to NPT states as well as non-NPT states,” he said. Narayanan’s comments come at a time when nuclear disarmament looks set to make a comeback as a prominent agenda in international affairs,with the new US President Barack Obama appointing a number of officials who are known to be hardliners on this issue.

Narayanan said India did not envisage nuclear disarmament as the replacement of existing arsenals by new categories of nuclear weapon systems. “Our perception of arms control is that by addressing the issue piecemeal it merely tends to perpetuate weapons in the hands of a few chosen nations,” he said.

“India is perhaps the only nuclear weapons state to express its readiness to negotiate a Nuclear Weapons Convention leading to global,non-discriminatory and verifiable elimination of nuclear weapons.

Narayanan was speaking in a plenary session that was titled “Non-proliferation,Arms Control and the Future of Nuclear Weapons: Is Zero Possible?”

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