PM says nuclear terrorism remains potent threat
"India is acutely conscious of this threat," Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said, addressing the second Nuclear Security Summit here. He said an India-piloted resolution on measures to deny terrorists access to weapons of mass destruction had been adopted by consensus since 2002.
Singh said India backed the extension of the UNSC resolution 1540 and the work of its Committee. The resolution seeks enforcement of legal and regulatory measures against the proliferation of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear weapons to non-state actors.
"Nuclear terrorism will remain a potent threat as long as there are terrorists seeking to gain access to nuclear material and technologies for malicious purposes," he said.
The best guarantee for nuclear security is a world free from nuclear weapons, he said, noting that former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi put forward an Action Plan for global nuclear disarmament in a time-bound framework almost 25 years ago. "This remains the most comprehensive and elaborate proposal to achieve this objective."
Singh said nuclear security was primarily a national responsibility but there were benefits to be gained by supplementing responsible national actions through sustained and effective international cooperation.
"India is party to the main international legal instruments on nuclear security – the Convention on Physical Protection and its 2005 amendment, as well as the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism. We support the universalisation of these instruments," he said.
The Prime Minister also noted that India has contributed actively to the Nuclear Security Summit process, including hosting a Sherpa meeting in New Delhi in January.
"Attaining the goal of a nuclear weapon-free world will require commitments embedded in an agreed multilateral framework involving all states possessing nuclear weapons.
"This should include measures to reduce nuclear dangers by reducing the salience of nuclear weapons in security doctrines and by increasing universal restraints on the first use of nuclear weapons," the Prime Minister said.