Foreign Secretary’s Statement on the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons at the 76th United Nations General Assembly, September 28, 2021

Mr. President,

India welcomes the convening of the High-Level Plenary meeting to commemorate the International Day for Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons. It provides a valuable opportunity for the international community to reaffirm its commitment to global nuclear disarmament and to enhance public awareness about the objectives of the total elimination of nuclear weapons.

Mr. President,

India is committed to the goal of universal, non-discriminatory, and verifiable nuclear disarmament, leading to the complete elimination of nuclear weapons, consistent with the highest priority accorded to nuclear disarmament by the Final Document of the First Special Session of the UN General Assembly on Disarmament (SSOD-1).

India believes that the goal of nuclear disarmament can be achieved through a step-by-step process, underwritten by a universal commitment and an agreed multilateral framework that is global and non-discriminatory. India’s approach is outlined in our Working Paper submitted to the UNGA First Committee in 2006 and to the Conference on Disarmament in 2007, which has an enduring relevance.

Mr. President,

India’s annual resolution in the UN General Assembly on the "Convention on the Prohibition of the Use of Nuclear Weapons” tabled since 1982 enjoys wide support of the membership and calls on the Conference on Disarmament to commence negotiations in order to reach agreement on an international convention prohibiting the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons under any circumstances. Another UNGA resolution tabled annually by India for the past two decades on ‘Reducing Nuclear Danger’ underlines the grave dangers posed by unintentional or accidental use of nuclear weapons and the need to take steps to address it.

Mr. President,

As the world’s sole multilateral disarmament negotiating forum, the Conference on Disarmament is well placed to commence negotiations on a Comprehensive Nuclear Weapons Convention.

Without diminishing the priority that we attach to disarmament, India has supported the immediate commencement of negotiations in the CD on a Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty (FMCT) on the basis of CD/1299 and the mandate contained therein, which remains the most suitable basis for negotiations.

India, as a responsible nuclear weapon State, has a nuclear doctrine outlining credible minimum deterrence with the posture of no-first use and non-use against non-nuclear weapon States.

Mr. President,

I am confident that our meeting today will provide further impetus to our collective efforts through a synthesis of various proposals and ideas.

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has indicated India’s openness to new ideas as manifest in the ancient text, the Rig Veda, which is as follows:

आनो भद्राः क्रतवो यन्तु विश्वतः

Let noble thoughts come to us from all sides.

It is in this spirit of openness, that India will engage with all member states towards realising a nuclear weapons free world.

Thank you.


Permanent Mission of India to the Conference on Disarmament, Geneva