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India committed to nuclear disarmament, despite boycotting UN treaty talks

19 Jul 2017 | By Abheet Sethi

India's external affairs ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay said New Delhi remained committed to non-discriminatory and verifiable nuclear disarmament.

Baglay's statement came after over 120 countries adopted the first multilateral legally-binding instrument for nuclear disarmament at the UN on July 7.

India had boycotted negotiations for the treaty along with other nuclear-armed nations - the US, Russia, Britain, China, France, Pakistan, North Korea and Israel.

In context: India justifies boycott of UN nuclear disarmament treaty

07 Jul 2017120 countries adopt treaty banning nuclear weapons, India doesn't participate

As many as 122 UN member countries have adopted the first-ever global treaty banning nuclear weapons.

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons is the first multilateral legally-binding nuclear disarmament instrument to be negotiated in 20 years.

Nuclear armed nations, namely India the United States, Russia, Britain, China, France, Pakistan, North Korea and Israel, didn't participate in the negotiations.

19 Jul 2017India committed to nuclear disarmament, despite boycotting UN treaty talks

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India explains why it wasn't party to the treaty

WhyIndia explains why it wasn't party to the treaty

Baglay said the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons doesn't constitute or contribute towards the "development of any customary international law."

He said India wasn't convinced that the treaty would address concerns of a comprehensive instrument on nuclear disarmament.

He pointed out that none of the other nuclear-armed countries participated in negotiations.

India has an estimated 120-130 nuclear warheads

India reportedly has produced enough plutonium to build 150-200 warheads but has likely produced only 120-130, according to "Indian Nuclear Forces 2017," a report by US nuclear experts Hans M Kristensen and Robert S Norris.

Details India proposes negotiations in UN body for nuclear disarmament

Baglay said India remains committed to a nuclear weapon-free world.

However, this can be achieved "through a step-by-step process underwritten by a universal commitment and an agreed global and non-discriminatory multilateral framework," he added.

He said India supports the Geneva-based UN Conference on Disarmament as the single consensus-based multilateral disarmament negotiation forum.