NEW YORK: A resolution calling upon Pakistan, India and Israel to give up their nuclear weapons and the ability to manufacture them was overwhelmingly passed by the UN General Assembly (UNGA) on Wednesday, despite opposition from the United States and concerned countries, including Pakistan, Firstpost reported.
The US joined India to vote against a key part of the resolution on achieving a nuclear weapon-free world that required the three countries to immediately and unconditionally accede to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) as non-nuclear-weapon states and put all their nuclear facilities under International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards.
However, France, Britain and Bhutan abstained from voting. The resolution passed with with 165 votes in the 193-member UNGA, with 21 countries absent.
India and the US were joined by Britain, Russia, Israel and North Korea in voting against the overall resolution on working towards a nuclear-weapon-free world. China, Pakistan, Bhutan, Micronesia and Palau abstained from voting.
This resolution and similar ones are generally not binding under the UN Charter, but are symbolic in nature.
India also voted against clauses in two other resolutions that, without naming any country, asked all countries to accede to the NPT, while giving up their nuclear arsenals.
New Delhi has been firm in rejecting the NPT, which it considers discriminatory in trying to preserve the nuclear weapon monopoly of five nations — the US, Russia, China, France and Britain.
This stand was reiterated by Ambassador DB Venkatesh Varma in October at a meeting of the UNGA’s committee that deals with disarmament and crafted these resolutions.
“There is no question of India joining the NPT as a non-nuclear weapon state,” said Varma, who is India’s Permanent Representative to the Conference on Disarmament. “In our view, nuclear disarmament can be achieved through a step-by-step process underwritten by a universal commitment and an agreed global and non-discriminatory multilateral framework.”
India also voted against a resolution pushing for conventional arms control at the regional and subregional levels.
In another resolution, the UNGA asked all nations to take strong actions to prevent terrorists from acquiring weapons of mass destruction.
Other resolutions called for lessening international tension by reducing the operational readiness of the several thousand nuclear weapons that remained on high alert despite the end of the cold war, and requested the five nuclear-weapon states to review nuclear doctrines and take steps to reduce the risks of the use of nuclear weapons.