India on Tuesday asserted that not only was New Delhi not bound by obligations arising from the nuclear ban treaty which it refuses to sign, but also that it doesn’t recognise any change in international law relating to disarmament from its promulgation. India believes that the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in no way constitutes or contributes to the development of any customary international law, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Gopal Baglay said.
"India continues to attach priority to and remains committed to universal, non-discriminatory and verifiable nuclear disarmament. India, however, did not participate in the negotiations on a treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons which were concluded in New York on 7 July 2017. Also,none of the other States possessing nuclear weapons participated in the negotiations," he said.
Noting that these negotiations were conducted under UN General Assembly rules of procedure, he said India has already provided a detailed Explanation of Vote (EoV) on itsabstention on this resolution. In its EoV, India had said it was "not convinced" that the proposed conference could address the longstanding expectation of the international community for comprehensive instrument on nuclear disarmament.
"India, therefore, cannot be a party to the treaty, andso shall not be bound by any of the obligations that may arise from it. India believes that this treaty in no way constitutesor contributes to the development of any customary international law," the MEA spokesperson added. Reiterating India's commitment to the goal of a nuclear weapon-free world, he said it believes that this goal can be achieved through a step-by-step process underwritten by a universal commitment and an agreed global and non-discriminatory multilateral framework.
"In this regard, India supports the commencement of negotiations on a comprehensive Nuclear Weapons Convention in the Conference on Disarmament, which is the world's single multilateral disarmament negotiation forum working on the basis of consensus," Baglay added. The treaty, the first multilateral legally-binding instrument for nuclear disarmament, was adopted last week at the UN in New York.
India and other nuclear-armed nations -- the US, Russia, Britain, China, France, Pakistan, North Korea and Israel had not participated in the negotiations on a treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons in New York.
With PTI inputs