India to stay out of NPT review conference that begins today
Over 150 nations, including Iran, will get together for an international review of the NPT, but India will not be part of the deliberations during which the US is expected to push non-signatories to sign the pact.
United Nations: Over 150 nations, including Iran, will get together for an international review of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, but India will not be part of the deliberations during which the US is expected to push non-signatories to sign the pact.
The conference on NPT review will kick off here today and the Iran-West showdown over Tehran`s nuclear programme is likely to dominate the proceedings.
India, which is not a signatory to the NPT has decided to stay out of the conference.
"We are not parties to the NPT and we will not be participating," an official at the Permanent Mission of India to the UN told reporters.
He said India would not be represented in the conference in any capacity not even as an "observer" country.
The NPT review conference is held every five years to assess the progress in reaching the goal set out in the 1970 treaty to disarm and stop the spread of nuclear weapons.
India, Pakistan and Israel have not signed the treaty and have been nudged by countries like US to sign it. North Korea withdrew from it in 2003.
The 2005 conference for the treaty ended without any concrete result and was widely regarded as a failure.
The Bush Administration garnered a great deal of hostility for diluting disarmament goals.
In this conference, the United States will push for all states that are not members of the NPT to join the agreement, which Indian considers as "unfair". Around 189 countries are
presently signatories to the treaty.
"The US has had a long-standing policy of supporting the universal adherence to the NPT," Susan Burk, Special Representative of the President for Nuclear Nonproliferation
told PTI, in response to a question whether Washington will address the question of New Delhi and Islamabad`s absence from the NPT.
The high-level discussions, which will be attended by 150 nations, is set to be kicked off by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who is the only head-of?state who will be
attending the conference.
Shortly after Ahmadinejad addresses the delegates, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will take the floor.
The conference is taking place at a time when the US along with France, Britain and Germany are seeking support from Russia and China to impose fourth round of sanctions against Iran, an NPT member, for its alleged efforts to acquire a nuclear bomb and being in violation of the treaty.