Originally Published 2011-11-09 00:00:00 Published on Nov 09, 2011
The elimination of nuclear weapons is a pre-condition for peace in the 21st century. This was the key message delivered by the Hon'ble Senator Douglas Roche, renowned campaigner for nuclear disarmament in his address to Indian experts at the ORF campus in New Delhi.
A Future without Nuclear Weapons
After decades of advocating global nuclear disarmament proved to be of no avail and, in the light of nuclear weapons proliferation in its immediate neighbourhood, India went nuclear in 1998, sending shock waves around the world. Earlier, what India had found particularly disappointing was the contemptuous rejection of the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi's carefully thought out 1988 Plan For A Nuclear Weapons-Free And Non-Violent World Order by the five nuclear weapon powers of the elite NPT club.
Nevertheless, his disarmament plan continues to influence Indian thinking, though, after 1998, its policy stance has been that it will proceed with reductions leading to elimination of nuclear weapons only when a globally agreed plan within a time frame was enforced. Meanwhile, weapons and technology proliferation has been on the rise, further putting human security and human well-being at peril.
With a view to reviving public discussion of this issue, ORF invited the Hon'ble Douglas Roche, one of the world's, leading campaigners for disarmament, to address a selected gathering of eminent Indian experts on the critical issue at our campus on June 7, 2011. The meeting was chaired by Mr. Mani Shankar Aiyar, Member of Parliament, who is known internationally for his forceful advocacy of nuclear disarmament. He believes India should lead the world towards Nuclear Zero by unilaterally dispensing with its nuclear weapons.
This is particicularly important given that there is increasing securitisation of issues in Asia and India should not lose an opportune moment to take the initiative to the next level.
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