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National meet to pitch for time-bound nuclear disarmament

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

External Affairs Minister S M Krishna is expected to inaugurate the 'National Outreach Conference on Global Nuclear Disarmament' here organised by the Indian Council of World Affairs and the Prime Minister's Informal Group on Universal Nuclear Disarmament chaired by Mani Shankar Aiyar.

Vice President Hamid Ansari, National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon, former Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi will address the day-long conference which will see participation from a number of college students who would debate the pros and cons of the Rajiv Gandhi Action Plan (RGAP).

Speaking ahead of the conference, Aiyar said that RGAP was the only state document before the United Nations that talks of time-bound global nuclear disarmament.

The other documents have been presented by NGOs or activist groups, he said.

Aiyar said issues like a nuclear-free world should be discussed at the UN Conference on Disarmament, which has been deadlocked for several years due to objections raised by Pakistan.

The talks cannot move forward as the UN Conference on Disarmament works on the basis of consensus, he said.

The informal group comprising Aiyar and seven others came out with a report on how to carry forward the ideas contained in the RGAP, presented by the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi at the Third Special Session on Disarmament of the UN General Assembly in June 1988.

The report, submitted to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last year, suggested that time was ripe to re-champion the cause of complete disarmament and India should assume a high profile in advocating the basic ideas and goals first set out in the RGAP.

The report underscored the vitality and relevance of the RGAP for ushering in a Nuclear Weapons Free and Non-Violent World.

It said India as a nuclear weapons state is better suited to champion the elimination of nuclear weapons.

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First Published: Sat, August 18 2012. 19:05 IST