India has denounced a call to give up its nuclear weapons and sign the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) while it “remains committed to universal, non-discriminatory and verifiable nuclear disarmament”. “The question of India joining the NPT as NNWS (non-nuclear weapon states) does not arise,” India’s top disarmament diplomat Amandeep Singh Gill told the General Assembly committee on disarmament.
This was in response to a call by a group calling itself the New Agenda Coalition that India – along with Israel and Pakistan – sign the NPT as NNWS (non-nuclear weapon states), which would effectively mean giving up its nuclear arsenal.
However, India has reiterated its commitment “as a responsible nuclear power” to “a policy of credible minimum deterrence based on a No First Use posture and non-use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapon states”.
The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was adopted by the General Assembly with 122 votes in July, and the pact itself was open to signatures in September. India, along with the other nuclear-armed nations, boycotted the negotiations on the treaty, although North Korea voted for it.
It is an international treaty whose objective is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, to promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, and to further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament and general and complete disarmament. The Treaty entered into force in 1970.
Four UN member states have never joined the NPT: India, Israel, Pakistan and South Sudan. North Korea, which acceded to the NPT in 1985 but never came into compliance, announced its withdrawal in 2003.
Recognized nuclear-weapon states: The treaty recognizes five states as nuclear-weapon states: the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, and China.
The NPT is interpreted as a three-pillar system, with an implicit balance among them: the three pillars are:
- The right to peacefully use nuclear technology.