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India warns of 'grave' global threat from countries arming terrorists

While reiterating its commitment to universal nuclear nonproliferation and no-first use (NFU), India on Wednesday warned against the serious global threat from countries arming terrorists with conventional weapons.

"We would like to reiterate our concerns on the grave threat to international peace and security posed by the illicit transfers of conventional weapons, including small arms and light weapons, in particular to terrorists and non-state actors," Pankaj Sharma, India's Permanent Representative to the Conference on Disarmament, told the General Assembly's First Committee that deals with disarmament.

India faces a serious threat from terrorists armed by Pakistan and sent over the border to carry out attacks.

"India attaches high priority to the CCW (Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons) which serves as one of the most important legal instruments to address the legitimate defence requirements of States while striking a balance with humanitarian concerns," he said.

Sharma again reiterated India's commitment to not being the first to use nuclear weapons.

"As a responsible nuclear weapon state, India is committed as per its nuclear doctrine to maintain credible minimum deterrence with the posture of no-first use and non-use against non-nuclear weapon states," he said.

Sharma said that India is for nuclear disarmament, but with the caveat that it should be non-discriminatory.

He said, "India is steadfast in its commitment to the goal of universal, nondiscriminatory and verifiable nuclear disarmament. Our call is for complete elimination of nuclear weapons."

The Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) favours the countries that had atomic weapons before the pact came into effect in 1970, which are the permanent members of the Security Council, and discriminates against others.

"The unravelling of the global disarmament architecture and landmark arms control agreements raises deep concerns about the edifice built over several decades and the uncertainties that lay on the road ahead," he said.

"The disarmament triad of the Conference on Disarmament (CD), the UN Disarmament Commission (UNDC) and the First Committee, more than ever, face an urgent and important responsibility to fulfil their respective mandates," he said.

Citing the "recent instances of the alleged use of chemical weapons in various parts of the world", Sharma stressed on the need to strengthen the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to ensure that the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) is observed..