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PM Worried Over Threat Of Nuclear Terrorism

Maintaining that the spectre of nuclear terrorism is a formidable challenge, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday supported strengthening of global efforts in improving nuclear security and welcomed US President Barack Obama's initiative to hold
PTI September 29, 2009 7:46 IST
PTI

Maintaining that the spectre of nuclear terrorism is a formidable challenge, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday supported strengthening of global efforts in improving nuclear security and welcomed US President Barack Obama's initiative to hold a summit on nuclear security next year.

India, he said, has an updated, effective and comprehensive export controls system and is "committed to not transferring sensitive technologies and equipment to other countries that do not possess them."

Holding that India has been sponsoring a resolution at the UN General Assembly calling for measures to address the nuclear terrorism threat, he said, "We support strengthening the international efforts in improving nuclear security and in this context, welcome President Obama's timely initiative to hold a global Summit on Nuclear Security in 2010."

Inaugurating the International Conference on Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy, he said, "India is proud of non- proliferation record and is committed to global efforts for preventing the proliferation of all weapons of mass destruction.

"We are committed to a voluntary, unilateral moratorium on nuclear testing. As a nuclear weapon state and a responsible member of the international community, we will participate constructively in the negotiation of a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT) in the Conference on Disarmament," he said.

The Prime Minister said global non-proliferation regime has not succeeded in preventing nuclear proliferation and its deficiencies have had an adverse impact on India's security.

"Global non-proliferation, to be successful, should be universal, comprehensive and non-discriminatory and linked to the global of complete nuclear disarmament," the Prime Minister said, pointing out that there was growing international acceptance for this viewpoint.

Singh said, "It is a matter of regret that the global non-proliferation regime has not succeeded in preventing nuclear proliferation. Its deficiencies, in fact, have had an adverse impact on our security."

"We are committed to a voluntary, universal, unilateral moratorium on nuclear testing," he told the top scientists from across the world attending the conference.

IAEA Director General Mohammad El Baradei, National Security Adviser M K Narayanan and Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao were among the other participants at the Conference which has been organised as part of the year-long programme to mark the birth centenary of Homi Jehangir Bhabha, founder of India's nuclear programme.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee released a commemorative coin on the occasion.

On the civil nuclear initiative, Singh said a number of agreements and reciprocal commitments were concluded to allow the resumption of full civil nuclear cooperation between India and the international community.

"We look forward to their full and effective implementation in the coming months and years," he said, adding that the return of India to the international nuclear global mainstream is of high significance not only for India but for global energy security as well.

Noting that the nuclear industry in the country was poised for a major expansion, he said, "If we can manage our (nuclear) programme well, our three stage strategy could yield potentially 470,000 MW of power by the year 2050."

The Prime Minister said such harnessing of nuclear energy will sharply reduce country's dependence on fossil fuels and make a major contribution to global efforts to combat climate change.

India was ready to contribute to global research and development into new proliferation-resistant fuel cycles, Singh said, noting that as a supplier nation it would support efforts to set up an international fuel bank.

Recalling Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru's call for prohibition and abandonment of all weapons of mass destruction in 1950s, Singh said, "It was a call that went largely unheeded at that time. We should not repeat the mistakes of the past."

The Prime Minister said that global non-proliferation to be successful should be universal, comprehensive and non-discriminatory and linked to the goal of complete nuclear disarmament.

Days after the UN Security Council, at a session presided by US President Barack Obama, adopted a resolution asking all non-NPT states to sign the Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty, Singh said it is a matter of regret that the global non-proliferation regime has not succeeded in preventing proliferation.

"Its deficiencies, in fact have had an adverse impact on our security. Global non-proliferation, to be successful, should be universal, comprehensive and non-discriminatory and linked to the goal of complete disarmament," Singh said noting there was growing global acceptance for this view point.

The Prime Minister said India was proud of its non-proliferation record and was committed to global efforts for preventing the proliferation of all weapons of mass destruction.

"We are committed to a voluntary, unilateral moratorium on nuclear testing," he said adding as a nuclear weapons state and a responsible member of the international community, India will participate constructively in the negotiations of an FMCT in the Conference on Disarmament. PTI