India votes against UN draft resolutions on Non-Proliferation Treaty

United Nations: India has voted against the provisions of draft resolutions that would have required it to accede to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), saying there is "no question" of it joining the treaty as a non-nuclear weapon state.

Deeply concerned about the growing dangers of nuclear and other mass destruction weapons caused by proliferation networks, the First Committee of the 193-member UN General Assembly that deals with disarmament and international security issues approved a draft resolution yesterday urging all member states that had not yet done so to sign and ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty.

Prior to approval of that draft as a whole, votes were polled on provisions, including on operative paragraph, by which the Assembly would call on all those countries that have not joined the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) to accede to it as non-nuclear weapon states. The provision was retained by a recorded vote of 164 in favour, with Democratic People's Republic of Korea, India and Israel voting against it.

In its explanation of vote, India said it cannot accept the call to accede to NPT as a non-nuclear-weapon state. "India's position on the NPT is well-known. 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," it said.

The Committee then took four recorded votes on a resolution 'Towards a nuclear weapon-free world: accelerating the implementation of nuclear disarmament commitments'. The text was approved as a whole by a vote of 166 in favour to seven against, with Korea, France, India, Israel, Russian Federation, the UK and the US opposing it.

By another provision in the resolution, the Assembly would stress the fundamental role of NPT in achieving nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation and urge India, Israel and Pakistan to promptly accede to the Treaty as non-nuclear- weapon states and place all their nuclear facilities under IAEA safeguards. The provision was retained by a recorded vote of 163 in favour with India, Israel, the US and Pakistan voting against. In its explanation of vote, India said it remains committed to the goal of complete elimination of nuclear arms.

"We are concerned about the threat to humanity posed by the continued existence of nuclear weapons and their possible use or threat of use. India also shares the view that nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation are mutually reinforcing. We continue to support a time-bound programme for global, verifiable and non-discriminatory nuclear disarmament," it said.

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