Statement on Nuclear Security at the United Nations Security Council

Apr 19,2012

Thank you, Madam President.


India welcomes the initiative taken by the U.S. to convene a meeting of the UN Security Council on nuclear security. I would also like to thank the Secretary General for his briefing.


India fully shares international concerns on the serious threat posed by nuclear terrorism and clandestine proliferation to international security.


In recent years, there has been heightened awareness of the threat of terrorists and traffickers seeking access to nuclear material and technologies for malicious purposes. Addressing this threat requires sustained and effective international cooperation to supplement responsible national actions. India’s resolution at the General Assembly on measures to deny terrorists access to weapons of mass destruction adopted by consensus since 2002 and the recently extended work of the Council’s 1540 Committee are important in this regard.


So are international legal instruments on nuclear security – the Convention on Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and its 2005 amendment, as well as the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism. We support the Universalization of these instruments and the central role of the IAEA in strengthening the international global nuclear security architecture.


We welcome the successful outcome of the Nuclear Security Summit held in Seoul 26-27 March 2012, which sets new benchmarks for nuclear security and new frameworks for international cooperation. India’s Prime Minister participated in the Seoul Nuclear Security Summit. India has contributed to the Nuclear Security Summit process including by hosting a Sherpa Meeting in New Delhi this year. While nuclear security is primarily a national responsibility there are benefits by supplementing responsible national actions through sustained and effective international cooperation.


We have made progress in the establishment of the Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership. The physical infrastructure for the Centre is being set up and cooperation agreements have been signed with several countries and the IAEA. ‘Off-campus’ courses are already underway. India will contribute 1 million US dollars to the IAEA’s Nuclear Security Fund for the years 2012-13 and will participate in the Agency’s 2013 International Coordinating conference of various nuclear security activities, including the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism of which we are a member. India intends to host a 1540 workshop during this year to strengthen its implementation.


We believe that the best guarantee for nuclear security is a world free of nuclear weapons. The Rajiv Gandhi Action Plan tabled nearly twenty five years ago remains the most comprehensive and elaborate proposal to achieve the objective of global nuclear disarmament in a time-bound framework. Attaining the goal of a nuclear weapon-free world will require commitments embedded in an agreed multilateral framework involving all states possessing nuclear weapons.


This should include measures to reduce nuclear dangers by reducing the salience of nuclear weapons in security doctrines and by increasing universal restraints on the first use of nuclear weapons. Working towards the common goal of a world free of nuclear weapons would require a steadfast commitment to multilateralism, which has proven its worth in the case of conventions banning two other categories of weapons of mass destruction.


The UN disarmament machinery, especially the Conference on Disarmament as the single multilateral disarmament negotiating forum, should play its role. We support the early commencement of negotiations in the Conference of Disarmament in Geneva on a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty, envisaged since 1993 as a significant contribution to non-proliferation in all its aspects.


States should fully and effectively implement the obligations arising from the agreements or treaties to which are parties. The role of the Security Council should be in accordance with the Charter and applicable provisions of international agreements which provide for such a role.


India has never been a source of proliferation of sensitive technologies and we are determined to further strengthen our export control systems to keep them on par with the highest international standards. We have already adhered to the guidelines of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). As a country with the ability and willingness to promote global non-proliferation objectives, we believe that the next logical step is India’s membership of the four export control regimes.


All states have the right to develop and utilize nuclear energy for peaceful purposes in accordance with the international obligations they have undertaken. Given India’s growing energy demands, we see nuclear energy as an important component of our energy mix. We are taking forward our three stage nuclear programme based on a closed fuel cycle, with new safety features and proliferation-resistant technologies. Our goal is nuclear energy generation of 62,000 MW by 2032. We are determined that our expanding nuclear power programme will follow the highest standards of nuclear safety and security.


Madam President, we hope that this meeting of the Security Council would help draw attention to the challenges posed by nuclear terrorism and reinforce national and international commitments to strengthen nuclear security and contribute to the enhancement of the global nuclear security architecture. We are thus happy to join the consensus on the PRST to be issued today.

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