What Manmohan Singh said and meant at Nuclear Summit (Highlights)April 13th, 2010 - 11:58 pm ICT by IANS
By Manish Chand
Washington, April 13 (IANS) In his intervention on the final day of the Nuclear Security Summit, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh unveiled a plan to set up a Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership, underlined key features of India’s nuclear policy and its position on leading nuclear issues. Here are some highlights:
Zero tolerance for proliferators: “There should be zero tolerance for individuals and groups which engage in illegal trafficking in nuclear materials.”
Perils of nuclear terrorism: “The danger of nuclear explosives or fissile material falling into the hands of non-state actors continues to haunt the world.” India is deeply concerned and sees nuclear security as “one of the foremost challenges we face today.”
Collective Global Action: “The world community should join hands to eliminate the risk of sensitive and valuable materials and technologies falling into the hands of terrorists and illicit traffickers.”
Pakistan’s A.Q. Khan network: Although Prime Minister Manmohan Singh did not name Pakistan, he said: “Clandestine proliferation networks have flourished and led to insecurity for all, including and especially for India.” The reference was obvious to world leaders attending the summit.
Iran: “National responsibility must be accompanied by responsible behaviour of states. All states should scrupulously abide by their international obligations.” This was a reference to the Iranian nuclear programme. Amid a fresh Western drive to impose new sanctions against Tehran, India has said that while Tehran must stick to its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), sanctions are counterproductive. Dialogue is the only way to go.
Failures of NPT: “It is a matter of deep regret that the global non-proliferation regime has failed to prevent nuclear proliferation.” Manmohan Singh’s remarks come ahead of the review conference of the NPT in May and underlines India’s continuing unease with what it sees as a discriminatory treaty.
India a responsible nuclear power: In his intervention, Manmohan Singh underlined India’s impeccable non-proliferation record and mentioned a slew of steps taken by New Delhi to prevent proliferation. The steps included effective export control system, harmonisation of India’s guidelines and lists with those of the Nuclear Suppliers Group and the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) and placing of all future civilian reactors under international safeguards.
Nuclear disarmament: Calling for deeper cuts in nuclear arsenals of advanced nuclear powers, Manmohan Singh made a strong pitch for “universal, comprehensive and non-discriminatory nuclear disarmament.”
Central role for IAEA: “India has consistently supported the central role of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in facilitating national efforts to strengthen nuclear security and in fostering effective international cooperation.”
Concrete action: Stressed on concrete outcomes at the summit to secure the world from nuclear materials Nuclear energy drive: Nearly one and a half year after the landmark India-US civil nuclear deal, Manmohan Singh announced his government’s decision to increase the production of nuclear energy seven-fold to 35,000 MW by 2022 and to 60,000 MW by 2023 and underlined developmental applications of nuclear science.
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