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6 June Security Council Resolution, 8 June Indian Response & 6 June Pakistani Response

South Asia Nuclear Crisis - Special Feature

Security Council Resolution

Resolution 1172, adopted unanimously, 6 June 1998

"The Security Council,

Reaffirming the statements of its President of 14 May 1998 (S/PRST/1998/12) and of 29 May 1998 (S/PRST/1998/l7),

Reiterating the statement of its President of 31 January 1992 (S/23500), which stated, inter alia, that the proliferation of all weapons of mass destruction constitutes a threat to international peace and security,

Gravely concerned at the challenge that the nuclear tests conducted by India and then by Pakistan constitute to international efforts aimed at strengthening the global regime of non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, and also gravely concerned at the danger to peace and stability in the region,

Deeply concerned at the risk of a nuclear arms race in South Asia, and determined to prevent such a race,

Reaffirming the crucial importance of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty for global efforts towards nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament,

Recalling the Principles and Objectives for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament adopted by the 1995 Review and Extension Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, and the successful outcome of that Conference,

Affirming the need to continue to move with determination towards the full realization and effective implementation of all the provisions of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, and welcoming the determination of the five nuclear-weapon States to fulfil their commitments relating to nuclear disarmament under Article VI of that Treaty,

Mindful of its primary responsibility under the Charter of the United Nations for the maintenance of international peace and security,

1. Condemns the nuclear tests conducted by India on 11 and 13 May 1998 and by Pakistan on 28 and 30 May 1998;

2. Endorses the Joint Communiqué issued by the Foreign Ministers of China, France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America at their meeting; in Geneva on 4 June 1998 5/1998/473);

3. Demands that India and Pakistan refrain from further nuclear tests and in this context calls upon all States not to carry out any nuclear weapon test explosion or any other nuclear explosion in accordance with the provisions of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty;

4. Urges India and Pakistan to exercise maximum restraint and to avoid threatening military movements, cross-border violations, or other provocations in order to prevent an aggravation of the situation;

5. Urges India and Pakistan to resume the dialogue between them on all outstanding issues, particularly on all matters pertaining to peace and security, in order to remove the tensions between them, and encourages them to find mutually acceptable solutions that address the root causes of those tensions, including Kashmir;

6. Welcomes the efforts of the Secretary-General to encourage India and Pakistan to enter into dialogue;

7. Calls upon India and Pakistan immediately to stop their nuclear weapon development programmes, to refrain from weaponisation or from the deployment of nuclear weapons, to cease development of ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons and any further production of fissile material for nuclear weapons, to confirm their policies not to export equipment, materials or technology that could contribute to weapons of mass destruction or missiles capable of delivering them and to undertake appropriate commitments in that regard;

8. Encourages all States to prevent the export of equipment, materials or technology that could in any way assist programmes in India or Pakistan for nuclear weapons or for ballistic missiles capable of delivering; such weapons, and welcomes national policies adopted and declared in this respect;

9. Expresses its grave concern at the negative effect of the nuclear tests conducted by India and Pakistan on peace and stability in South Asia and beyond;

10. Reaffirms its full commitment to and the crucial importance of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty as the cornerstones of the international regime on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and as essential foundations for the pursuit of nuclear disarmament;

11. Expresses its firm conviction that the international regime on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons should be maintained and consolidated and recalls that in accordance with the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons India or Pakistan cannot have the status of a nuclear-weapon State;

12. Recognizes that the tests conducted by India and Pakistan constitute a serious threat to global efforts towards nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament;

13. Urges India and Pakistan, and all other States that have not yet done so, to become Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and to the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty without delay and without conditions;

14. Urges India and Pakistan to participate, in a positive spirit and on the basis of the agreed mandate, in negotiations at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva on a treaty banning; the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, with a view to reaching early agreement;

15. Requests the Secretary-General to report urgently to the Council on the steps taken by India and Pakistan to implement the present resolution;

16. Expresses its readiness to consider further how best to ensure the implementation of the present resolution;

17. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter."

Indian Response, 8 June: Prime Minister’s Statement to Parliament

‘Prime Minister’s Statement in Rajya Sabha regarding UN Security Council Resolution,’ Statement by Prime Minister Vajpayee to Parliament, New Delhi, 8 June 1998

"We regret that the Security Council has acted in a manner in which it has and produced a Resolution which is completely unhelpful in respect of the objectives it seeks to address. The Resolution contains a number of references to nuclear non-proliferation. As I had mentioned in my earlier statement in the House, we are a responsible and committed member of the international community. The Resolution urges us not to carry out any nuclear weapons test explosions. For India, such an urging is redundant because we have already instituted a voluntary moratorium. We have also indicated our willingness to explore ways and means of converting this undertaking into a de jure obligation. Further, we have made clear our readiness to engage in multilateral negotiations on a Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty in the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva. We cannot, however, be expected to commit ourselves in advance of these negotiations, to unilaterally restrain production of fissile materials. In keeping with our commitment to non-proliferation, we maintain the strictest controls over exports of nuclear materials and technologies. Our record in this regard has been impeccable and better than that of some countries who are parties to the NPT or members of the Nuclear Suppliers Group or even Permanent Members of the UN Security Council.

However, the call made in the Resolution that we should stop our nuclear programmes or missile programmes is unacceptable. Decisions in this regard will be taken by the Government on the basis of our own assessments and national security requirements, in a reasonable and responsible manner. This right, which we claim for ourselves is not something new; it is the right of every sovereign country, and a right that every Government in this country has strongly upheld for the last 50 years.

A glaring lacuna in the Resolution is the total absence of a recognition that the non proliferation issue is not a regional issue but has to be dealt with a non-discriminatory global context. We find it unfortunate that the UN Security Council Resolution does not reflect on the judgement of the highest international judicial body - the International Court of Justice, which has questioned the legitimacy of nuclear weapons and called for urgent negotiations for their elimination. In the paper on the Evolution of India’s Nuclear Policy laid on the Table of this House, we have reiterated our commitment to nuclear disarmament. Let me categorically state that unlike other nuclear weapon states who have sought to retain their exclusive hold over their nuclear arsenals, India has no such ambition. [The] Government is committed to initiatives that can open negotiations for a global convention for the elimination of all nuclear weapons. The attempt to project the recent tests by India as a threat to peace and security is totally misguided and grossly out of focus. Such a portrayal of our policy ignores the positive steps announced by [the] Government to which I have already referred, both in the global disarmament framework and the regional context. Our tests were necessary because of the failure of a flawed non-proliferation regime, and, therefore, we categorically reject the notion that these have adversely affected either regional or global security. [The] Government have indicated willingness to engage in a meaningful dialogue with key interlocutors on the whole range of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation issues. Last week, Special Envoy Shri Brajesh Mishra visited Paris and London in this regard. He had meetings at the senior most levels in the two capitals. Dialogues with other countries are also planned. These dialogues have to been seen as part of a process, a process that will lead to a better understanding of India’s position.

...India has always desired a peaceful, friendly, and mutually beneficial relationship with Pakistan based on confidence and respect for each other’s concerns. ... [A] secure and prosperous Pakistan is in India’s interest. Our vision of our bilateral relationship is not confined to a resolution of outstanding issues, but is also directed to the future by seeking to building a stable structure of cooperation, which will benefit the people of both countries. As I wrote recently to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, we must not remain mired in the past, prisoners of old contentions. And I say to him today, let us put the past behind us, let us think of the welfare of our children and grandchildren.

We have remained committed to a path of direct bilateral dialogue with Pakistan. This reflects the nation’s conviction and confidence that it is only through direct discussions in a sustained and constructive manner that we can move ahead in our bilateral relationship. I would again like to reiterate our desire for the earliest resumption of the official talks with Pakistan. The subject for discussions including peace and security, (along with confidence building measures) Jammu & Kashmir, economic and commercial cooperation and cross-border terrorism have been identified. Our proposals for the modalities of these talks have been with Pakistan since January this year. We await their response. We have also made it clear once again that there is no place for outside involvement of any nature whatsoever in our dialogue process with Pakistan.

Honourable Members have expressed strong reservations against attempts to internationalise the Kashmir issue. There is simply no question of India ever agreeing to such internationalism. [The] UN Security Council has chosen to mention Kashmir in its Resolution. This is unacceptable and does not change the reality that the state of Jammu & Kashmir is an integral part of the Indian Union. I would also like to the terms in which Kashmir finds mention in the resolution. The UN Security Council has recognised that bilateral dialogue has to be the basis of India-Pakistan relations and mutually acceptable solutions have to be found for outstanding issues including Kashmir. This is in keeping with our position."

Source: Government of India web-site,

Statement issued by the Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations in Response to the Security Council Resolution 1172


Mr. President,

1. Pakistan has kept the UN Secretary General and the Security Council fully informed, at all stages, of the developments pertaining to the current grave security crisis in South Asia.

2. Indeed, to some extent, it was the dereliction of its responsibilities by theSecurity Council that emboldened India to implement its hegemonic and aggressive designs, by crossing the nuclear threshold, threatening the use of nuclear weapons against Pakistan, and resorting to nuclear blackmail to impose a military solution on Kashmir.

3. We informed the Council about India's provocative actions and unambiguous expression of intent to commit aggression against Pakistan. Unfortunately, the Council did not pay heed to the impending breach of peace.

4. Faced with these ominous developments resulting from India's deliberate and calculated actions to alter the strategic equation, Pakistan was left with no choice but to exercise its nuclear option in its supreme national interest, to restore the strategic balance and to preserve peace.

5. For almost fifty years, Pakistan repeatedly drew attention of the United Nations to the Indian illegal occupation of Jammu and Kashmir. We demanded the implementation of the Council's own resolutions. We sought to draw attention of the international community to the Indian brutal campaign to deny to the Kashmiri people their inalienable right to self-determination, as provided for in the Council's resolutions.

6. We repeatedly drew attention of the Secretary General and his Council to the extremely volatile situation in Kashmir, resulting from grave violations of the Line of Control by Indian troops. We urged the Secretary General and his Council to take cognizance of this situation and even proposed the strengthening of the present United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP).

7. We regret to note that the Council paid no attention, whatsoever, to Pakistan's repeated warning and requests. Today again, the central issue which has bedeviled relations between India and Pakistan and is at the source of all conflicts and tensions in South Asia, is being ignored.

8. Now that the Council is seized of the volatile situation in South Asia, we note with regret that the approach that is being adopted is once again devoid of realism. Non-proliferation cannot be pursued by creating or acquiescing in situation of a security void. This has been and continues to be a major failure on the part of all those who have sought to promote the goal of non- proliferation. It is obviously counter-productive to bank once again on a uni-dimensional approach to non-proliferation based on selective sanctions, pressures and intimidation.

9. The Council has contented itself to deal with the non-proliferation aspects. Non-proliferation is no longer an issue in South Asia. South Asia, which we wanted to be a nuclear weapon free zone, is today nuclearized, thanks to the encouragement and acquiescence of major powers. There is a real danger of nuclear conflict. Proliferation, regrettably has taken place. No amount of sermonizing and lamentations can rectify or reverse this unfortunate development.

10. If this Council really wishes to have any role in containing the crisis and preventing the situation from deteriorating further, it must adopt a pragmatic and realistic approach.

11. We are convinced that a comprehensive approach to the issues of peace, security, confidence building, conventional imbalance, and conventional an nuclear arms control, is the only realistic way, whereby this Council and the international community could contribute to defusing the security crisis in South Asia which has endangered global peace and stability.

12. Mr. President, the Resolution which has emerged from the consultations is deficient in several aspects.

13. Let me first deal with procedure. Under Article 31 of the Charter, "Any member of the United Nations which is not a member of the Security Council may participate, without a vote, in the discussion of any question brought before the Security Council, whenever the latter considers that the interests of that Member are specially affected". We deeply regret that the Council has disregarded this Charter provision by not giving us an opportunity to participate in the discussions on this Resolution.

14. The attitude of the Council can, in short be described as, "My mind is made up; please do not confuse me with facts".

15. While I would be pointing out the substantive inadequacies, let me make a more general point.

16. I wish to state for the record and for posterity that the adoption of this Resolution will further marginalize the role of the Security Council, not only in dealing effectively with the security crisis in South Asia but on global security issues as a whole.

17. The approach that the Security Council has adopted is not only again devoid of realism but also of legality and morality.

18. I wonder whether the Security Council is not about to ignite an extremely short fuse that will destruct the entire global security order as is envisioned in the UN Charter.

19. Now let me deal with salient aspects of this Resolution which I believe fall in the following three categories:

a) Non-Proliferation;
b) The security problem in South Asia; and
c) The role of the Council

20. As far as the non-proliferation aspects of this resolution are concerned, we cannot help but comment on the extremely short sighted approach that the Council has chose to pursue.

21. This Resolution is not an expression of global concern about the failure of non-proliferation and ways and means to deal with this serious issue. It is in fact a transparent exercise in self assurance by the official Nuclear-5 to seek legitimacy for their possession of lethal arsenals of weapons of mass destruction.

22. The Nuclear-5 draw comfort and questionable legitimacy from the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Pakistan had never questioned this dubious distinction that they draw from the NPT. Today we are obliged perforce to reconsider our position.

23. For the first time, this sacrosanct institution is being used, today, to confer legitimacy upon the Nuclear-5. It is, therefore, not what is contained in this Resolution, but what is implied, which needs to be seen in its proper legal, strategic and political perspective.

24. For the first time, the Security Council is being asked to play a role in enforcing non- proliferation. This is contrary to the letter and spirit of the various international instruments and treaties on this subject.

25. Nuclear non-proliferation is the obverse side of nuclear disarmament. Nuclear non- proliferation cannot be promoted in the absence of corresponding progress towards nuclear disarmament.

26. The Nuclear-5 have continued to use the NPT for a two-fold purpose: to legitimize their own possession of huge nuclear arsenals and the right to retain them in perpetuity; and as blunt instrument to curb further proliferation.

27. It is indeed evident that the Resolution "welcomes" the commitment of the Nuclear-5 to Article VI of the NPT. There could be no more poignant travesty of facts.

28. Treaty provisions cannot be enforced on non-parties. Treaty obligations can only be assumed on a voluntary basis. Any attempt at imposition of treaty obligations on non-parties is, by its very nature, unequal and unsustainable.

29. How would the Council deal with the issue so aptly raised by the decision of IC on the illegitimacy of nuclear weapons? How would the Council deal with the question of non- proliferation? How would the Council deal with the inter-linked issues of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation? The Council has given its verdict. Nuclear disarmament is apparently in safe hands! Nuclear non-proliferation is the only real issue.

30.The Non-Aligned Movement has consistently held that there is no justification for the maintenance of nuclear arsenals, or for concepts of international security based on a policy of nuclear deterrence.

31. The Non-Aligned movement has also categorically pronounced itself on the present situation, whereby nuclear weapon states insist that nuclear weapons provide unique security benefits, and continue to make feverish efforts to monopolize them. The Non-Aligned Movement has said that this is a highly discriminatory and untenable approach, and one that cannot be sustained.

32. The Non-Aligned Movement's ministerial meeting in Cartagena recently affirmed the importance of the adoption of an action plan for the total elimination of all nuclear weapons within a time-bound framework, as well as the need for negotiating and implementing universal, non-discriminatory disarmament measures, and mutually agreed confidence-building measures.

33. If the Council is, today, really concerned about non-proliferation, then the resolution that it has adopted does less than full justice to the predominant views of the Non-Aligned Movement, including of those who are parties to the NPT.

34. Let me once again clarify that the issue for Pakistan is one of security, and not of status.

35. Pakistan has demonstrated its nuclear weapon capability. We have officially stated that the nuclear devices tested on 28 and 30 May 1998 correspond to weapons configuration compatible with delivery systems.

36. We have already stated that South Asia has been nuclearized. We have been compelled to join the process of nuclearization by India's decision to weaponize and induct nuclear weapons.

37. We have been obliged to do so for our self-defence and to restore the strategic balance in South Asia.

38. It is India that has claimed status as the sixth nuclear weapon state. Does the Council, by its lop-sided approach, desire that we also claim status as a nuclear weapon state, and thus contribute to shredding to bits the myths about the legitimacy or otherwise... of nuclear weapons?

39. Moreover, the resolution does not take into account the fact that besides India and Pakistan, there are other states, non-parties to the NPT, which posses nuclear weapons and have so acknowledged.

40. We do not want to complicate the issue. The issue is simple and straight forward. It is about the security crisis in South Asia. We do not want to dilute the focus, and enter into academic arguments about non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament.

41. We also do not want to link extraneous issues which only serve to detract from the main issue, that is the security crisis in South Asia, which has endangered global peace and stability.

42. So, Mr. President, a highly skewed and self-defeating approach has been taken by the Security Council in trying to handle non-proliferation, which is strictly not within its competence.

43. The future of non-proliferation cannot be assured by setting aside its very legal and moral basis. This is exactly what is being done today by this Council. It is evident, therefore, that what is at stake is not the future of non-proliferation, but the exclusive privileges and status that the Nuclear-5 arrogate to monopolize, caring little about the wider aspects.

44. I, therefore, dread to say that the Council is about to embark on a totally unrealistic and self- defeating course as far as the future of non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament is concerned.

45. Mr. President, Pakistan has been subjected to double discrimination. At the regional level, we are discriminated because of a failure by the Security Council to make a distinction between an action and reaction, between a provocation and a response, between a cause and its effect.

46. Pakistan has acquired its nuclear capability only in reaction to India's steady development of its nuclear weapons programme. We cannot be asked to give up the right to defend our country against any external threat emanating from conventional or weapons of mass destruction. Pakistan reserves the right to maintain the ability to deter aggression by conventional weapons or non-conventional means.

47. We are also suffering a discrimination at the global level by the Nuclear-5 states, who claim for themselves the right to acquire and retain weapons of mass destruction against each other, or against non-nuclear weapon states, and thus threaten teh rest of the world.

48. This discrimination, at the global level, is epitomized by the possession of over 30,000 nuclear weapons in the hands of the Nuclear-5 states, which they claim they will retain indefinitely while taking coercive measures to prevent any other state from acquiring similar capability, even in the legitimate exercise of the right of self-defence.

49. This is totally unjust and unacceptable.

50. While the Security Council adopts this unsjust decision, we are confident that the international community, the majority of the membership of theUnited Nations General Assembly, will reject this unfair and unequal decision, and uphold its demand for general and complete nuclear disarmament in the shortest period of time by the Nuclear-5 states.

Mr. President,

51. The resolution before the Council presumes to deal with the security aspects of the situation in South Asia. Here again, the Council is ensuring that it would, in fact, have at best a disinterested spectator's role.

52. What are the immediate issues in the context of the situation in South Asia? We would have expected that that the Council would seek to address earnestly and reasonably the following:

a) Reducing the risk of a nuclear conflict.

b) Promoting nuclear restraint and stabilization measures between Pakistan and India.

c) Defusing the volatile situation in Jammu and Kashmir, especially along the Line of Control.

53. Unfortunately, the Security Council is once again abnegating its responsibility under the UN Charter for the maintenance of international peace and security by adopting a totally unpragmatic and unrealistic approach.

54. This Resolution urges India and Pakistan to exercise maximum restraint and to avoid threatening military movements, cross-border violations or other provocations in order to prevent an aggravation of the situation. This Resolution also urges India and Pakistan to resume the dialogue between them on all matters pertaining to peace and security and encourages them to find mutually acceptable solutions to address the root cause of tension.

55. The mere mentioning of the root cause, Kashmir, is not enough. We regret that even the important element contained in the P-5 Ministerial Communique, of their readiness to assist India and Pakistan in promoting reconciliation and cooperation has been omitted from this Resolution.

56. It is evident that by adopting this approach the Council is in fact acknowledging its failure to address the critical elements of the situation.

57. In short, the Council wants Pakistan and India settle the issues bedeviling their relations by them selves.

58. If Pakistan and India could have sorted out these problems by themselves, today South Asia would not have been nuclearized.

59. What you, Mr. President, are asking us today, in short, amounts to an appeal to two nuclear weapon states to settle their differences on the basis of the de-facto situation. This de-facto situation is based on complex factors underlying the power balance in strategic and conventional terms.

60. In fact, what you are asking us today is to remain embarked on a disastrous course. You are asking us today to cross new thresholds in nuclear and ballistic system escalation.

61. You are asking us today to set aside UN Charter, and international law, and to base our conduct on the imperatives of maintaining a strategic balance, whatever the cost.

62. You have once again ignored the fact that the direct cause of aggravation of the security situation in South Asia was the unilateral altering by India of the delicate strategic balance that had maintained peace in South Asia for the past two decades.

63. We cannot read any other message in your Resolution. You have once again abandoned your responsibility by asking us to find mutually acceptable solution.

64. I say this more in sorrow than in anger, for the implications of this approach would be far and wide.

65. Not only would it oblige the countries in South Asia, but also 180 member states of the United Nations, to draw their own conclusions about the pathetic state of the UN and the global security order, which is premised to serve the strategic interests of the official Nuclear-5.

66. Mr. President, I regret to say that Pakistan is disappointed. We had pinned our hopes on the UN for more than 50 years. We were confident that it would be able to usher a new era, free from the scourge of war for our succeeding generations. What we have witnessed instead is a tale of missed opportunities, abdication of responsibilities, and selective and discriminatory application of the Charter. This track record does not fill anybody with pride. Nor does it conform to the ideals of its founding fathers, or to the principles of democracy.

67. Let me, however, hasten to add that we would still continue to base our conduct and actions on the noble principles of the UN Charter. The vision of the UN Charter would, I hope, one day bring the dawn of a new era. This would come about if the nations of the world would become true adherents to the principles and purposes of the Charter.

68. The Government and the people of Pakistan have faith in the inherent goodness of human kind. We place great value on the collective civilizational accomplishments of the human race, and the eventual triumph of morality. It is in view of these sublime sentiments that we have taken the liberty, today, to make a critical analysis of the shortcomings of the Security Council, that have only contributed to the spread of chaos and anarchy in various parts of the world.

Mr. President,

69. Pakistan will continue to comply with its obligations under the UN Charter and international law.

70.We would continue to seek a just resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, in accordance with Security Council resolutions. May I, at this stage, remind the Council of its own resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir, which explicitly provide for the final disposition of the State of Jammu and Kashmir, in accordance with the will of the people expressed through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite, conducted under the auspices of the United Nations.

71. The Prime Minister of Pakistan has already stated, as I would like to reiterate that Pakistan is ready to enter into talks with India on all matters of mutual concern including a Non-Aggression Pact, on the basis of a just, equitable, and expeditious settlement of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute.

I thank you, Mr. President.

U.N. Document S/1998/464

Letter dated 4 June 1998 from the Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations Addressed to the President of the Security Council.

1. We came to know from the statement made to the press by your predecessor as President of the Security Council, the Permanent Representative of Kenya, on Saturday, 30 May, that the Council was considering a draft resolution on a matter that directly concerns India. We have subsequently seen drafts of the resolution, which have been discussed by the Council more than once since then.

2. Under Article 31 of the Charter, "any Member of the United Nations which is not a member of the Security Council may participate, without vote, in the discussion of any question brought before the Security Council whenever the latter considers that the interests of that Member are specially affected". We deeply regret that the Council has disregarded this Charter provision by not giving India an opportunity to participate in the discussions on this draft. The general membership of the United Nations will note this as one more instance of the Council acting in a manner that is neither open nor transparent, a problem that has been repeatedly highlighted in the discussions in the Open-ended Working Group of the General Assembly on Security Council reform.

3. The proposed draft resolution raises a host of questions including the following:

(a) Can the Security Council continue to ignore the overwhelming demand for elimination of nuclear weapons, which has been repeatedly endorsed by the General Assembly? Will the Council henceforth engage itself in matters relating to nuclear disarmament?

(b) If indeed the Charter of the United Nations envisaged any role for the Security Council on non-proliferation issues, which is doubtful, why has it not acted on the proliferation of tens of thousands of nuclear weapons since the United Nations was established? Is the Security Council's concern on matters of proliferation limited to horizontal proliferation alone? Is the continued retention of nuclear weapons by the nuclear-weapon States not considered a proliferation risk that threatens international peace and security?

(c) If nuclear tests are a threat to "non-proliferation and disarmament", or if the imputation is that tests raise tensions, why did the Council not take cognizance of the over 2,000 tests carried out over the last 50 years, including as recently as 1996?

(d) Can the Council call upon a country not to assemble or develop nuclear devices, when this process continues in other countries, without the Council taking any notice?

(e) Can the Council call upon a country not to develop ballistic missiles, when it has made no such call to others, including to those who have several thousand of these weapons in their arsenals, and continue to produce and develop them? It should be noted that the United Nations has not even considered the negotiation of a treaty to ban the development or production of ballistic missiles.

(f) On what basis is the Council limiting its concern on nuclear weapons to an arbitrarily defined geographical subregion, when nuclear weapons by definition have a global reach and impact, and when the security concerns of at least one of the countries it addresses extends well beyond that subregion? Non-proliferation is a global issue and cannot be segmented according to political preferences.

(g) The Council's call to engage in a dialogue is unnecessary, when initiatives have been taken both bilaterally and regionally to strengthen cooperation and build relations between the States of the region.

(h) The Security Council acts on behalf of the full membership of the United Nations. Neither of the treaties mentioned in the draft resolution - the Non-Proliferation Treaty and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty - enjoy universal adherence among the United Nations membership. Since several Member States of the United Nations are not States Parties to these treaties, on whose behalf does the Security Council "reaffirm" its commitment to these treaties?

(i) Can the Security Council urge any Member State of the United Nations to become a Party to any treaty "without delay and without conditions"? This is tantamount to coercion and a clear violation of the fundamental principle that a State must freely consent to be bound by a treaty, a right protected by the Law of Treaties.

(j) Can the Security Council specify that a Member State must contribute "without conditions" in multilateral negotiations in any forum, when no such conditions are imposed on other States? These are sovereign decisions taken by Member States, not matters in which the Council has any role.

(k) On what basis can the Secretary-General report to the Council on the steps taken by the countries addressed by this resolution, when most of its provisions are ultra vires or at variance with international law and infringe on the sovereign prerogatives of Member States?

(l) On what basis is the Council reserving its readiness to consider further action, contingent on the implementation of this resolution, when no Charter provision or treaty obligation has been breached by those to whom it is addressed?

4. The tests conducted by India were not directed against any country. Neither has India broken any treaty obligation by conducting these tests. They were carried out as a defensive measure to protect India in a global environment where nuclear disarmament was making no headway, and against grave and growing challenges to its security from nuclear weapons in the lands and seas bordering India. The right to take measures in self-defence is an inherent right of Member States under Charter.

5. In view of the importance of the subject, may I request that this letter be circulated as a document of the Security Council.

(Signed) Kamalesh SHARMA, Permanent Representative of India

© 1998 The Acronym Institute.

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