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India warns international community of WMDs proliferation risks

Last Updated: Wednesday, May 15, 2013 - 16:47

United Nations: India has cautioned the international community about the risks of terrorists and non-state actors acquiring sensitive materials and weapons of mass destruction and called for cooperation to tackle the "catastrophic dangers" of such a proliferation.

"As a victim of terrorism, India is fully cognizant of the catastrophic dangers that transfers of WMDs to terrorists and non-state actors could entail. India has taken the lead since 2002 in sponsoring the resolution. Measures to prevent terrorists from acquiring WMDs in the General Assembly," India`s Ambassador to the UN in Geneva Sujata Mehta said.

"This consensus resolution highlights the concerns of the international community with regard to WMD (weapons of mass destruction) terrorism and calls upon all member states to take measures aimed at preventing terrorists from acquiring WMDs," Mehta said while addressing the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, which started yesterday.

Mehta stressed on the importance of addressing proliferation of radiological weapons, arguing that there is a risk such weapons could be used by terrorists.

"The international community must join hands in eliminating the risks relating to sensitive materials and technologies falling into hands of terrorists and non-state actors, including through clandestine proliferation networks," she said.

Mehta argued that it is of utmost importance that the principles of a Comprehensive Programme of Disarmament should be universally applicable and relevant.

"A comprehensive programme would consider not only nuclear disarmament, which remains the highest priority of the international community, but also other weapons and weapon systems which are crucial for maintaining international peace and security," she said.

The second part of the 2013 Conference on Disarmament started in Geneva yesterday with the US announcing that the American delegation will not be represented at the ambassadorial level during any meetings presided over by Iran, which will do so because of the rotation policy.

After Indonesia, Iran will chair the Conference on Disarmament for four weeks from May 27 onwards.

In a statement, the US termed Iran`s chairing of the conference as unfortunate and highly inappropriate.

The US argued that any state under UN Chapter VII sanctions for either weapons proliferation or massive human rights violations should not be allowed to hold ceremonial or formal positions within UN bodies.

Yesterday`s plenary meeting of the Conference on Disarmament was devoted to agenda item 5, "New types of weapons of mass destruction and new systems of such weapons; radiological weapons" and to item 6, "Comprehensive programme of disarmament".


First Published: Wednesday, May 15, 2013 - 16:35

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