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India says won’t sign NPT

India maintained that it cannot join the NPT as a non-weapon country even as it reiterated its commitment to no testing and no-first-use besides non-discriminatory universal non-proliferation.

Written by Agencies | New Delhi |
September 24, 2009 11:13:22 pm

India has refused to abide by the UN Security Council resolution asking all non-NPT nations to sign the pact,saying it cannot accept the “externally prescribed norms or standards” on issues that are contrary to its national interests or infringe on its sovereignty.

India maintained that it cannot join the NPT as a non-weapon country even as it reiterated its commitment to no testing and no-first-use besides non-discriminatory universal non-proliferation.

In a letter to UN Security Council President Susan E Rice,India’s Permament Representative to the UN Hardeep Singh Puri has said “India cannot accept calls for universalization of the NPT.”

The development came as the UN Security Council unanimously passed a resolution asking all countries which have not signed the Non Proliferation Treaty to sign the agreement.

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Citing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s statement in Parliament on July 29,Puri said “there is no question of India joining the NPT as a non-nuclear weapon state. Nuclear weapons are an integral part of India¿s national security and will remain so,pending non-discriminatory and global nuclear disarmament.”

He said India “cannot accept externally prescribed norms or standards on matters within the jurisdiction of its Parliament or which are not consistent with India’s constitutional provisions and procedures,or are contrary to India’s national interests or infringe on its sovereignty.”

Puri contended India cannot comply with non-proliferation obligations to which it has not provided its consent.

Questioning the locus standi of the Security Council in the enforcing of NPT,the Indian envoy to the UN said the role of the world body “would arise if those treaties (like the NPT) themselves provide for such a role.”

“We cannot accept any obligations arising from treaties that India has not signed or ratified. This position is consistent with the fundamental principles of international law and the Law of Treaties,” Puri said in the letter dated yesterday which was released here on Thursday.

India,which has been maintaining that NPT is discriminatory and flawed,pointed out that it had in 1992 prescribed norms and standards for national or international conduct which the Security Council itself “must scrupulously accept”.

Underlining its commitment to universal disarmament and non-proliferation,Puri said “it is clear that the international community would look to the countries with substantial nuclear arsenals represented on the Council for meaningful steps towards nuclear disarmament.”

The Indian envoy said “working towards our common objectives would require a steadfast commitment to genuine multilateralism to ensure viable and enduring solutions to global peace and security”.

“A more representative Security Council would add credibility and vitality to such efforts,” he said adding India is committed to working with the international community to “advance our common non-proliferation and disarmament objectives so that we are able to fulfill the vision of a world free of nuclear weapons.”

India has an “unwavering commitment to global efforts for preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery,” Puri said,adding “these efforts are in India’s interest as the infirmities of the non-proliferation regime have had an adverse impact on our security.”

The envoy said India supports the two global and non-discriminatory international conventions banning chemical and biological weapons and efforts for strengthening their implementation.

He contended that nuclear disarmament can be achieved through a “step-by-step process underwritten by a universal commitment for global elimination of nuclear weapons.”

Countries,he said,should fully and effectively implement the obligations arising from the agreements or treaties to which they are parties.

“Non-proliferation obligations arise from international agreements or treaties to which states are parties and issues of non-compliance should be addressed in accordance with the provisions contained within those international agreements or treaties,” he said.

Puri noted that India had suggested a number of measures in this regard,including reaffirmation of the unequivocal commitment by all nuclear-weapon states to the goal of complete elimination of nuclear weapons.

Consideration could also be given to specific legal measures,including a Global No-First Use Agreement and negotiations of a Convention on the Prohibition of the use of Nuclear weapons,he said.

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