India's Permanent Representative to the Conference on Disarmament Ambassador DB Venkatesh Varma on Tuesday said India has supported the proposal put forward by the Non-Aligned Movement for the Conference on Disarmament to commence talks on a Comprehensive Nuclear Weapons Convention.
"We have called for a meaningful dialogue amongst all states possessing nuclear weapons to build trust and confidence and for reducing the salience of nuclear weapons in international affairs and security doctrines," Varma said at a session of the UN Disarmament Commission (UNDC) here.
"India attaches the highest priority to global, non- discriminatory, verifiable nuclear disarmament and the complete elimination of nuclear weapons in a time bound manner," he said.
He said the initiation and adoption of Confidence Building Measures must remain the prerogative of states concerned and subject to their consent and must be implemented in a manner that relevant states are comfortable with.
Varma said that India participated in the Vienna Conference on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons in the expectation that the renewed attention on the most serious threat to the survival of mankind posed by the use of nuclear weapons would help generate momentum for restraints on its use and correct an imbalance in the international legal discourse that has focussed exclusively on restraints on possession.
He stressed that the current difficulties of the UNDC relate less to any inherent deficiencies in the machinery and more to the lack of political will of member states to invest in multilateral outcomes that would be of enduring value to the entire international community.
"At a time of growing mistrust and rising international tensions, the role of this Commission as a platform for dialogue and cooperation assumes greater significance. The Commission can do more to improve it functioning by undertaking focused and result oriented discussions on items on its agenda," he said.
India has voiced support to any addition to the Commission’s 2015 agenda if it helps to expand the ground for consensus building and helps the international community respond in a meaningful manner to new and emerging challenges relevant to the disarmament agenda.
With a view to advancing discussions despite its 15-year impasse on adopting concrete guidelines, the Disarmament Commission succeeded after two days of intense negotiations, in approving a provisional agenda for the current three-year cycle.
It agreed to include items for achieving the objective of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and on practical confidence-building measures in the field of conventional weapons.