United Nations: India will not be
participating in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review
Conference that begins here tomorrow, during which the US is
expected to push non-NPT signatories to sign the pact.
"We are not parties to the NPT and we will not be
participating," an official at the Permanent Mission of India
to the UN said.
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.
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
North Korea withdrew from it in 2003. "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 said, 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 working with 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.
There is concern that hostility and bickering between
the nations on the Iran issue will mar the chances of a
Ahmadinejad is expected to criticise the elite Western
nations for acquiring nuclear weapons while preventing smaller
nations from doing so.
UN chief Ban Ki-moon has expressed hope that
Ahmadinejad "brings some good constructive proposal in
resolving the Iranian nuclear issue, that would be helpful."