Seoul, Mar 27: India today warned that nuclear terrorism and clandestine proliferation will continue to pose serious threats as long as there are terrorists seeking access to atomic material and technologies for malicious purposes.
“Nuclear terrorism and clandestine proliferation continue to pose serious threats to international security,” Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told world leaders while addressing the second Nuclear Security Summit here.
He said an India-piloted resolution on measures to deny terrorists access to weapons of mass destruction had been adopted by consensus since 2002.
Singh said it seeks enforcement of legal and regulatory measures against the proliferation of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear weapons to non-state actors.
“Nuclear terrorism will remain a potent threat as long as there are terrorists seeking to gain access to nuclear material and technologies for malicious purposes. India is acutely conscious of this threat,” he said, without referring to any specific country.
However, world leaders are concerned over the safety of Pakistan's atomic weapons as it remains vulnerable because its atomic facilities are located in areas where “Taliban and al-Qaeda are more than capable of launching terrorist attacks”.
Also, Pakistan's disgraced nuclear scientist A Q Khan has been accused by the West of running a clandestine proliferation ring.
He had admitted to have provided nuclear technology to several countries, including North Korea.
Singh said the best guarantee for nuclear security is a world free from nuclear weapons, noting that former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi put forward an Action Plan for nuclear disarmament in a time-bound framework almost 25 years ago.
“This remains the most comprehensive and elaborate proposal to achieve this objective.”
Singh said nuclear security was primarily a national responsibility but there were benefits to be gained by supplementing responsible national actions through sustained and effective international cooperation.
“India is party to the main international legal instruments on nuclear security - the Convention on Physical Protection and its 2005 amendment, as well as the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism. We support the universalisation of these instruments,” he said.
The Prime Minister also noted that India has contributed actively to the Nuclear Security Summit process, including hosting a Sherpa meeting in New Delhi in January.
“Attaining the goal of a nuclear weapon-free world will require commitments embedded in an agreed multilateral framework involving all states possessing nuclear weapons.
“This should include measures to reduce nuclear dangers by reducing the salience of nuclear weapons in security doctrines and by increasing universal restraints on the first use of nuclear weapons,” he said.
Singh also made a strong pitch for membership of four exclusive nuclear clubs contending that it would help strengthen its export control systems and maintain highest international standards of its nuclear programme.
“India has never been a source of proliferation of sensitive technologies and we are determined to further strengthen our export control systems to keep them on par with the highest international standards,” Singh said.
India is keen for membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group, the Missile Technology Control Regime, Wassenaar Arrangement and the Australia Group.
Singh also announced a contribution of USD one million to the International Atomic Energy Agency's Nuclear Security Fund for the years 2012-13.