Vice President Ansari calls for total nuclear disarmament

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New Delhi, Jun 10 (UNI) Vice-President Hamid Ansari today called for total nuclear disarmament and said it could only be achieved through an action plan as proposed by former prime minister late Rajiv Gandhi.

Mr Ansari, who was delivering the valedictory address to the two-day International Conference on "Towards a World Free of Nuclear Weapons", here, said nuclear disarmament has become almost synonymous with nuclear non-proliferation. A change would be possible only through such an Action Plan.

The Vice-President said India had always advocated ban on production and use of nuclear weapons. In 1954 Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru spoke about its dangers. Indian Prime Ministers at international fora proposed total prohibition on production of nuclear weapons in 1978 and again in 1982 before 1988 when Rajiv Gandhi, called for total disarmament.

He said it was now a well established opinion that the use of nuclear weapons was a crime against humanity and proliferation of nuclear weapons was a threat to international peace and security.

"But it is an irony of Realpolitik that these have so far not been perceived to constitute a threat to international peace and security," the Vice-President regretted.

Describing the nuclear armament as anti-poor and anti-development, the Vice-President referred to the arms race between the US and the Soviet Union that led the latter to the point of exhaustion and disintegration. "The spending by nuclear weapons states cannot but deny national esources for development or other purposes for public welfare," he added.

UNI KAS SB AS2008

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