India Nuclear Tests, 11 & 13 May 1998

United Nations; G8 Foreign Ministers; Governments of Australia, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, Fra
27 May 1998
International Comments
South Asia Nuclear Crisis - Special Feature

United Nations

Statement by Spokesperson for the Secretary-General, 13 May

"The Secretary-General is deeply disturbed over the Government of India's announcement of two more nuclear tests on 13 May... India has stated that this is expected to complete the current series of tests and has made a qualified offer to adhere to some of the undertakings of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty selectively. The Secretary-General continues to look forward to the unequivocal assurance of India and all other States that the international community's norm on nuclear testing and non-proliferation would be adhered to in order that progress towards nuclear disarmament - a common desire of all States and peoples - can be achieved as soon as possible."

Source: UN Press Release SG/SM/6560, 13 May.

Remarks by Secretary-General, Cleveland, 19 May

"I think our senses have been lulled a little bit with regard to the nuclear danger... But I think what has happened in India has woken everybody up. ... [Y]ou cannot have an exclusive club who have the nuclear weapons and are refusing to disband it... The nuclear powers need to set an example for other nations. ... We must get back to basics and [tackle] nuclear disarmament in a way that is much more aggressive than in the past..."

Sources: UN says India renewed nuclear fears, Associated Press, 19 May; India, confident after N-tests, steps up rhetoric, Reuters, 19 May.

Security Council Presidential Statement, 14 May

Editor's note: the statement was delivered by Security Council President Njuguna M. Mahugu of Kenya.

"The Security Council strongly deplores the three underground nuclear tests that India conducted on 11 May...and the two further tests conducted on 13 May...despite overwhelming international concern and protests. The Council strongly urges India to refrain from any further tests. It is of the view that such testing is contrary to the de facto moratorium on the testing of nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, and to global efforts towards nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament. The Council also expresses its concern at the effects of this development on peace and stability in the region.

... The Council appeals to India, and all other States which have not yet done so, to become parties to the NPT, and to the CTBT, without delay and without conditions. The Council also encourages India to participate, in a positive spirit, in the proposed negotiations with other States for a fissile material cut-off treaty in Geneva with a view to reaching early agreement.

With a view to preventing an escalation in the arms race, in particular with regard to nuclear weapons and their delivery systems, and to preserving peace in the region, the Security Council urges States to exercise maximum restraint. The Council underlines that sources of tension in South Asia should only be resolved through dialogue and not by military build-up. ..."

Source: United Nations Press Release SC/6517, 14 May.

Statement by the Spokesperson for the President of the General Assembly, 13 May

"The President of the General Assembly [Hennadiy Udovenko of Ukraine] has learned with dismay and disappointment of a series of nuclear tests conducted by India on Monday and Wednesday. Over the past years, there have been encouraging signs in the field of nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament. ...

Recognizing that there is a genuine need to de-emphasize the role of nuclear weapons, the General Assembly at its current session reaffirmed its commitment to the cause of creating a nuclear-weapon-free world and welcomed a number of recent steps...taken by States towards promoting the regime of non-proliferation. Regrettably, the latest series of nuclear tests runs contrary to that positive trend. ..."

Source: UN Press Release GA/SM/39, 13 May.

Remarks by Jayantha Dhanapala, Under-Secretary General for Disarmament, 19 May

"[It is] also important to urge the nuclear-weapon States...that they must honour their commitments with regard to nuclear disarmament. ... There is considerable disappointment on the part of non-nuclear-weapon States [concerning] the fidelity of the nuclear States to the commitments made [at NPT Review and Extension Conference] in 1995..."

Source: UN says India renewed nuclear fears, Associated Press, 19 May.

G8

G8 Statement on Indian Nuclear Tests, 'Regional Statements', Birmingham, UK, 15 May 1998

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