Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT)

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  • India is a de facto member of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty

    India is a de facto member of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty

    India is already in de facto observance of the spirit of the CTBT by maintaining its unilateral moratorium on nuclear explosive testing. Given that additional nuclear tests may not be needed, it could well reconsider its current position on signing the treaty.

    December 24, 2014

    Anand Ratkal asked: What is the Indian viewpoint on the global nuclear disarmament issue and the NPT and CTBT in particular?

    Reshmi Kazi replies: India has been a consistent advocate of global nuclear disarmament since the inception of the concept in the United Nations. India, faced with two nuclear neighbours with one of them declaring its nuclear arsenal as India-specific, had to reluctantly become a nuclear weapon state. However, India remains committed to the idea of negotiating a universal, non-discriminatory and internationally and effectively verifiable treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, one that takes into account India’s national security interests.

    India and the NPT

    The UN Security Council adopted unanimously resolution 1887 on nuclear non-proliferation which among other actions called on states not party to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) to join it. However, India responded to the resolution by declaring categorically that it will not join the NPT as a non-nuclear weapon state since nuclear weapons constitute an integral part of India’s security. Till date, the NPT recognises only the five permanent members of the UN Security Council (US, Russia, UK, France and China) as nuclear weapon powers and mandates that other countries can be a party to the NPT only as a non-nuclear weapon state. This is not acceptable to India and hence the issue of India joining the NPT does not arise. India’s stated position on the NPT is that it “cannot accept externally prescribed norms or standards on matters within the jurisdiction of its Parliament or which are not consistent with India's constitutional provisions and procedures, or are contrary to India's national interests or infringe on its sovereignty.”

    India and the CTBT

    India’s stand on the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) too is a principled one. India has declared that it would be unable to sign and ratify the CTBT in its present discriminatory form. However, India has pledged to continue with its voluntary and unilateral moratorium on further nuclear testing. India is the only nuclear weapon state to declare that it believes its security would be enhanced, not diminished, in a world free of nuclear weapons.

    The Poor Prospects of the CTBT Entering Into Force

    While Indonesia’s ratification has given a boost to the CTBT, the positions of the other hold-out countries do not show any promise of forward movement.

    January 09, 2012

    Pakistan against signing the NPT as a non-nuclear weapons state

    In a fundamental shift in its position on the global nuclear non-proliferation regime, Pakistan has made it known that it will join the NPT only as a recognised nuclear weapons state.

    March 08, 2010

    Pakistan Will Oppose the Fissile Materials Cut-Off Treaty at the Conference on Disarmament

    Though world opinion is still divided on whether the FMCT would include past stocks or not, Pakistan appears to have decided to continue with the production of fissile materials and oppose any talks at the CD.

    January 29, 2010

    Convergence of Strategic Interests between India and Japan

    The Joint Statement catapulted India-Japan strategic and global partnership to a “New Stage” in which the bilateral relationship is going to be deepened on all fronts, embracing regional, global and economic issues.

    January 07, 2010

    India and the Non-Proliferation Regime: Looking Beyond the Nuclear Deal

    Event: 
    Fellows' Seminar
    September 12, 2008
    Time: 
    1030 to 1300 hrs

    India needs to watch the evolving US position on nuclear issues

    On April 5, 2009, President Barack Obama delivered a landmark speech in Prague in which he outlined the US policy on nuclear weapons. Speaking of the need to reduce the role of nuclear weapons in national security, he expressed his commitment to a world without nuclear weapons. He said that the US will negotiate a treaty with Russia on the reduction of strategic weapons before the end of this year when the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) expires. He also said his administration would try and secure the ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) from the US Congress.

    May 19, 2009

    Look Beyond NPT’s Framework

    As anticipated, the NPT (Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty) Review Conference held at the UN in New York (May 2-27) ended acrimoniously with no final agreed document among the 188 state parties who are signatories to the treaty that came into force in 1970. This dissonance is in marked contrast to the Rev Cons of 1995 and 2000 when there was significant consensus about the commitments that the nuclear weapon states and the non-nuclear fraternity were willing to undertake in the furtherance of nuclear proliferation.

    June 14, 2005

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