India calls for nondiscriminatory global nuclear disarmament

India today called for "time-bound, non-discriminatory, phased and verifiable" universal nuclear disarmament, and sought to build a new international consensus on the issue which was first raised 25 years ago by then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

In his address to the UN General Assembly, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also called for building international consensus on key issues like cyber security, nonproliferation and terrorism.

"This year, 25 years after Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi put forward a comprehensive Action Plan for a Nuclear Weapon-free and Non-violent World Order, we must strengthen efforts against nuclear proliferation and pursue time-bound, universal, nondiscriminatory, phased and verifiable nuclear disarmament," Singh said in his address.

Singh also called for guarding against terrorists and non-state actors gaining access to sensitive materials and technologies including those used in nuclear weapons.

The Prime Minister's remarks on nuclear disarmament come 25 years after then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi gave his historic speech at the United Nations wherein he proposed a nuclear-free world and termed nuclear deterrence to be the "ultimate expression of the philosophy of terrorism, holding humanity hostage to the presumed security needs of a few."

Gandhi had proposed a three-stage process of total disarmament with the accent on a regime that was global, universal and non-discriminatory.

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