New Delhi, Mar 28: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will strongly pitch for global efforts to deal with the threat of nuclear terrorism and may press for a legally binding mechanism to ensure security of radioactive material at the Nuclear Security Summit beginning Thursday in Washington.
Modi will attend the crucial summit being attended by leaders from 52 countries on Thursday and Friday.
The summit will deliberate on various aspects of nuclear threats including from terror networks. India will submit a national progress report on nuclear security at the summit. "India's national progress report on nuclear security will be circulated at the summit.
The Prime Minister will intervene in this discussion to underline some of the important measures we have taken to strengthen nuclear security," Joint Secretary (Disarmament) in the Ministry of External Affairs Amandeep Singh Gill said.
He said India will seek concrete measures to combat threat of nuclear terrorism. Asked whether India may raise the issue of the risk of Pakistan's nuclear weapons falling into the hands of terror groups, Gill said the focus of the NSS has not been specific to any geography.
"We are concerned about the security of not just nuclear materials and radioactive sources around India and globally but also the security of nuclear facilities, the existence of insider threats, the existence of networks whereby technologies and information can be trafficked.
"Those concerns are well-known. The summit provides us an opportunity to work with other nations in cooperative spirit to raise nuclear security standards around the world because a weak link in the chain can be found in any geography," he said. Gill said India would push for a legally binding instrument relating to nuclear security.
He said India feels the convention on protection of nuclear material and obligatory reporting under UN Security Council resolution 1540, adopted in 2004, on non-state actors getting access to weapons of mass destruction should come into effect.
Gill said a policy discussion on nuclear terrorism based on a hypothetical scenario will feature at the summit but refused to divulge the details. "The scenario will facilitate thoughtful conversation on and around challenges posed by international terrorism."
He said the Prime Minister will share India's assesment of nuclear threat at the summit. "India expects that the summit would contribute further in increasing high-level awareness of the threat of nuclear terrorism and need to strengthen international cooperation against the terrorists," he said.
The official said India also expected that the summit will help bolster legal and institutional enforcement to strenthen security of nuclear material, radioactive sources and associated facilities and technologies.
"We also expect the summit to uphold confidence in safe, secure and safeguarded extension of nuclear power which will be a critical requirement in reaching national and international goal on non-fossil fuel energy," he added.