It is a pleasure to be participating in these informal structured discussions on Negative Security Assurances under your able coordinator ship. We congratulate you and assure you of the full cooperation of our delegation. We would also like to thank the Secretariat for the background summary provided to facilitate our discussions.
2. We welcome the opportunity for the Conference to discuss the issue of Negative Security Assurances, which has been on the Agenda of the Conference since 1980. The Final Document of SSOD-I called upon nuclear weapon States to take steps to assure non-nuclear weapon states against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons. We believe that non-nuclear weapon states have a legitimate right to be assured against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons. The history of negative security assurances is a long one, largely of unfulfilled aspirations for legally binding assurances.
3. Nuclear weapons pose the gravest danger to humanity and the best assurance against their use or threat of use is their complete elimination. India has been consistent in its support for global, verifiable and non-discriminatory nuclear disarmament. India attended the two conferences on the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons at Oslo and Nayarit. As part of our doctrine of credible minimum nuclear deterrence, we have espoused the policy of “No First Use” against nuclear weapon states and non-use against non-nuclear weapon states. We are prepared to convert these undertakings into multilateral legal arrangements.
4. India has called for progressive steps for de-legitimization of nuclear weapons which we believe is essential for achieving the goal of the complete elimination of nuclear weapons. Pending their elimination, measures to reduce nuclear dangers arising from accidental or unauthorized use of nuclear weapons, increasing restraint on the use of nuclear weapons are pertinent in this regard. India has therefore called for an agreed multilateral framework that would bring together all states possessing nuclear weapons to discuss measures relating to reducing the role of nuclear weapons in security doctrines and policies.
5. For over three decades, the First Committee has voted in favour of a resolution sponsored by India calling on this Conference to negotiate a Convention on the Prohibition of Use of Nuclear Weapons. India’s resolution in the First Committee on Reducing Nuclear Danger is supported by a large number of States. In its Working Paper CD/1816, India suggested specific measures including a Global No First Use Agreement.
6. India supported resolution 68/28 adopted by the General Assembly which recommends that the CD actively continue intensive negotiations on the issue of NSAs. India also joined the G21 working paper CD 1960 submitted in 2013. We remain committed to work with other CD members towards the objective of the establishment of a subsidiary body to negotiate with a view to reaching agreement on effective international arrangements to assure non-nuclear weapon states against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons.