Is the joint statement being issued after the horse has bolted from the farm?
India on Friday welcomed a joint pledge by the US, the UK, China, Russia, and France to prevent the spread of atomic weapons and reaffirmed its nuclear doctrine of maintaining a credible minimum deterrence based on a ‘no first use‘ policy and commitment to universal nuclear disarmament. In a rare joint statement, the five key nuclear-armed nations on Monday said that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought while vowing to prevent the spread of atomic weapons.
Arindam Bagchi, the spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said that as a responsible nuclear weapon state, India has a doctrine of maintaining a credible minimum deterrence based on a ‘no first use’ posture and non-use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states. He said India remains committed to the goal of universal, non-discriminatory, and verifiable nuclear disarmament.
“We welcome the joint statement this week, which reaffirms the importance of addressing nuclear threats, and underscores the desire to work towards creating a security environment more conducive to progress on disarmament with the ultimate goal of a world without nuclear weapons with undiminished security for all,” said India’s spokesperson. Bagchi was responding to a media query on the joint statement.
In the statement, the five world powers underlined their desire to work with all states to create a security environment conducive to progress on disarmament with the ultimate goal of a world without nuclear weapons with “undiminished” security for all. “We intend to continue seeking bilateral and multilateral diplomatic approaches to avoid military confrontations, strengthen stability and predictability, increase mutual understanding and confidence, and prevent an arms race that would benefit none and endanger all,” the joint statement had said.
In his comments, Bagchi said India’s annual resolution at the UN General Assembly (UNGA) on ‘Reducing Nuclear Danger’ calls for steps to reduce the risk of unintentional or accidental use of nuclear weapons, including through “de-alerting and de-targeting” of nuclear weapons. “Our annual resolution on a ‘Convention on the Prohibition of the use of Nuclear Weapons’ seeks the commencement of negotiations in the Conference on Disarmament on an international convention prohibiting the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons under any circumstances,” he said.
“Both resolutions are adopted with substantive support at the UNGA. India will continue to contribute further to the global nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation agenda,” he added.
[with PTI inputs]
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