Monday, September 28, 2009

UN Security Council Adopts Nuclear Non-Proliferation Resolution

The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) are once again in focus. The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has unanimously adopted a resolution asking all non-NPT states to join the treaty at a summit chaired by US President Barack Obama.
The 15-member council, while urging “other states” outside the NPT to join the controversial treaty as “non-nuclear states” to help rid the world of atom bombs, also urged all countries to sign and ratify the CTBT and refrain from conducting atomic tests. India has not signed the CTBT yet.
The Security Council has adopted a Nuclear Non-Proliferation Resolution. Through this resolution, the Security Council has called upon all nations to sign the NPT. The countries that have not so far signed it have been asked to do so. Under this treaty a ban has been imposed on making nuclear bomb in the future.
India’s Stance
India has decided to affix its signature on the treaty. India has refused to abide by the Security Council resolution asking all non-NPT nations to sign the pact, saying it cannot accept the “externally prescribed norms or standards” on issues that are contrary to its national interests or infringe on its sovereignty. India said it could not join the NPT as a non-weapon country even as it reiterated its commitment to no testing and no-first-use besides non-discriminatory universal non-proliferation.
The Indian Air Force chief recently expressed apprehension of a possibility of a nuclear attack on India. In the past also India was asked to sign the NPT, but it declined to do so pleading that unless and until nuclear-weapon nations destroy their nuclear arms, the treaty would be useless. Now, India has yet again refused to sign the NPT. At that time India stated that some other nations are in possession of nuclear weapons, hence it will need to make its own nuclear weapons for the sake of self-defense because in view of the need of self-defense it is not advisable to sign the NPT.
Now, India, once again declining to be a signatory to the treaty, vehemently opposed the UN security calls. It pleaded: "We cannot implement the regulations thrust upon other nations, for these impinge upon the sovereignty and national interests." It will not be in the country's interests to accept such decisions.
India has already taken a categorical stand not to make first use of the nuclear weapons to which it is completely committed. India's permanent representative at the United Nations, Hardip Singh Puri, has in a communication to Susan Rice of the Security Council raised questions on its role in the implementation of international treaties.
Amendment to NPT Treaty
Simultaneously, eight nations of the world, including India, have demanded an amendment in the NPT treaty. The Security Council has unanimously adopted a resolution on nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation. The resolution passed by 15-member SC that the remaining nations should sign the NPT. The resolution adopted under the leadership of the United States, China, and Russia also has affirmed it. The United Nations has decided to hold its session in 2010 also.
Many nations, including India have not signed the NPT. The plea put forward by them is that developed nations have built their nuclear weapon reserves and the NPT is being thrust upon other nations, which is absolutely unjustified. The question arises whether countries in possession of nuclear weapons will not browbeat countries that do not have such weapons. For instance, Pakistani rulers in the past have been holding out, lamenting nuclear attacks on India.
Obama’s Indication
President Obama first signalled his dedication to the cause of the NPT at Prague in April this year. While stressing non-proliferation, and indicating his preference for reducing the US stockpile of nuclear weapons, the US leader revealingly also said, "Make no mistake: As long as these weapons exist, the United States will maintain a safe, secure and effective arsenal to deter any adversary, and guarantee that defence to our allies." This underlines that the US proposes one set of standards for itself, and another for India. This country’s long-held position has been that it is in favor of comprehensive nuclear disarmament, and that non-proliferation is not a substitute for this. President Obama is yet to offer disarmament as an attainable goal.
Even now, India has voiced the apprehension that it is faced with a threat from Pakistani terrorists that intend to carry out a nuclear offensive against India because it is apprehended that some of the nuclear weapons of Pakistan have found their way to Al-Qa'ida and other groups. The United States had stated that Pakistani terrorists pose a big threat to India.
Even as the United Nations desires to make the world free of nuclear weapons as per the Secretary General, it is high time to move forward. India has declined to sign the NPT, saying that it will not do so until nuclear weapon nations destroy their nuclear weapon reserves. The Indian stand is fully justified.

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