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Conference on Disarmament

Statement by Ambassador Amandeep Singh Gill, Permanent Representative of India to the Conference on Disarmament during the formal plenary meeting of the Conference on Disarmament on August 22, 2017

Mr President,

The Indian delegation congratulates you upon your assumption of the presidency of the Conference on Disarmament and assures you of its full support in the discharge of this important responsibility. We also stand by the people and the Government of Spain and Finland at this difficult time following the last week’s terror attacks in in Barcelona and Cambrils and Turku. My country condemns terror without reservation and reiterates our call that any support to terror – be it moral, material or diplomatic must end immediately.

I extend our welcome to our new colleagues – the Ambassadors of the Netherlands and Slovakia, and Ms Kaspersen, who has taken over as the head of the UNODA branch in Geneva. She brings a lot of experience and an impressive set of skills to her responsibilities.

Mr President,

At this time, when progress is difficult, there are new challenges and shifts in power and technology, now is not the time to deemphasise the disarmament function of the UN. Now is the time to work each and every forum, not to abandon them or reduce our commitment out of frustration. As can be seen from the long list of speakers, there is a pent-up demand in the CD for a Plenary and I beg your indulgence and that of colleagues to take up two issues.

First, I would like to take this opportunity to read into the record of the CD the response by the Official Spokesperson of the Government of Indiaon July 18 to a media query regarding India's view on the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons adopted in New York on July 7 this year.

QUOTE “In response to a query regarding India's view on a Treaty to ban nuclear weapons, the Official Spokesperson said that India continues to attach priority to and remains committed to universal, non-discriminatory and verifiable nuclear disarmament.

India, however, did not participate in the negotiations on a Treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons which were concluded in New York on 7 July 2017. Also, none of the other States possessing nuclear weapons participated in the negotiations.

These negotiations were conducted under UN General Assembly rules of procedure, pursuant to UN General Assembly Resolution 71/258 of 23 December 2016. India had abstained on this Resolution and provided a detailed Explanation of Vote. India had further expressed its position on the issue of its non-participation in these negotiations at a Plenary of the Conference on Disarmament on 28 March 2017.

India, therefore, cannot be a party to the Treaty, and so shall not be bound by any of the obligations that may arise from it. India believes that this Treaty in no way constitutes or contributes to the development of any customary international law.

India reiterates its commitment to the goal of a nuclear weapon free world. India believes that this goal can be achieved through a step-by-step process underwritten by a universal commitment and an agreed global and non-discriminatory multilateral framework. In this regard, India supports the commencement of negotiations on a comprehensive Nuclear Weapons Convention in the Conference on Disarmament, which is the world's single multilateral disarmament negotiation forum working on the basis of consensus.” UNQUOTE

Mr President,

I would also take this opportunity to read out another statement by the official spokesperson of the Government of India of July 7 on India's concern on DPRK's recent missile tests

QUOTE:  “DPRK's continued pursuit of nuclear and ballistic missile programmes and its proliferation links pose a grave threat to international peace & stability. They have also adversely impacted India's national security.

India calls upon DPRK to refrain from such actions that undermine international peace and stability. We also urge the international community to work together to hold accountable all those parties that have supported these programmes.” UNQUOTE

Thank you, Mr President.

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