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Jun 28, 2011 at 06:55pm IST

India trying to get membership of top nuke clubs

London: Riding on the back of its "impeccable" non-proliferation record, India aims to get full membership of the four elite multilateral export control regimes that monitor the global movement of atomic material and equipment.

Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao has underlined that India has in place strict and effective controls over export of sensitive items in line with the best international standards, and that New Delhi has expressed interest in joining the elite nuclear clubs.

The four multilateral export control regimes include the NSG, the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), the Wassenaar Arrangement and the Australia group.

India trying to get membership of top nuke clubs

Nirupama Rao said India is engaged with the regimes and regime members and hopes to make progress.

"India has expressed interest in the full membership of the four multilateral export control regimes which we believe will be mutually beneficial," Foreign Secretary Niprupama Rao said in a speech at the International Institute for Strategic Studies here.

India's fresh assertion comes closely after a setback at the NSG which tightened its regulations for the export of sensitive technologies, which India objected to.

"Over the recent years, our Civil Nuclear Initiative has resulted in international civil nuclear energy cooperation with various international partners, including the US, France, UK, Russia, Canada.

"This has reflected recognition of India's impeccable non-proliferation record and its contributions to global non-proliferation objectives," she said.

Rao said India is engaged with the regimes and regime members and hopes to make progress in that direction with the support of our partners, including the UK.

Speaking on 'Key Priorities for India's Foreign Policy', Rao said India remains committed to the goal of global, universal and non-discriminatory nuclear disarmament.

India, she said, is willing to engage with all nuclear weapons states to build trust and confidence and reduce the salience of nuclear weapons in international affairs and security doctrines.

"India supports negotiations in the Conference on Disarmament towards a universal, non-discriminatory and verifiable FMCT that bans the future production of fissile materials for weapons purposes," she said.

The nuclear catastrophe in Japan, Rao said, has raised world wide concerns about the safety aspects of nuclear power but lessons learnt from the Fukushima incident will be useful for the global nuclear power industry.

India, she said, is taking measures to reassure people about safety of nuclear power plants in the country, including "technical review of safety of our plants and strengthening the safety regulatory framework."

Terming climate change an extraordinary global challenge that requires an urgent, collective and coordinated global response, she said for developing countries the issue goes beyond environmental sustainability and directly impacts their developmental aspirations.

"The global effort to address climate change must be anchored to the basic principles of 'equity' and 'common but differentiated responsibility and respective capabilities'. Equitable burden sharing that provides for an equal sharing of the resource of the atmosphere for all human beings is a natural expectation we have from on-going negotiations," she said reiterating India's position on the issue.

She said urgent implementation of commitments for a second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol would be key to a comprehensive, ambitious and balanced outcome of climate talks in Durban.

Pointing out that for a country like India, pursuing development to alleviate poverty and to address severe energy deficit is a prime concern, she said any agreement will have to be sensitive to the challenges "we face in bringing the benefits of growth to the poorer sections of our population".

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