Addressing the UN General Assembly in New York during an official visit to the United States, Mr.
CU: Indian Prime Minister Morarji Desai speaking to UN General Assembly.
DESAI: "India is among those who have not signed this treaty. There has been considerable misunderstanding of our motives. To remove these I should like to declare that we yield to none in our commitment to comprehensive disarmament. We are the only country which has pledged not to manufacture required nuclear weapons even if the rest of the world did so. I solemnly reiterate that pledge before this August assembly. In fact, we are gone further and adjure nuclear explosions even for peace purposes. We ask from others no more than the self-restraint we impose upon ourselves. But our objection to the treaty is because it is so patently discriminatory. It makes ??? invidious distinction between countries having nuclear weaponry and those devoted to the pursuit and those devoted to the pursuit of nuclear research and technology entirely for peaceful purposes. Paradoxically, the treaty gives the former a monopoly of power and confers on them freedom for commercial exploitation of nuclear know-how, while on the latter it places restriction which may impede peaceful development of nuclear science, along with a partial test-ban treaty. The NPT has placed the nuclear military powers in a position which enables them to continue with the utilization of nuclear energy for military purposes, while telling others, this far and no further. Despite protestations of peace and despite realisation of the danger of nuclear warfare, the superpowers between them have conducted 254 nuclear tests during the last eight years. The weapons now with the superpowers are deadlier and larger in numbers. The NPT has thus failed to arrest the growth of nuclear armaments, either qualitatively or quantitatively as anticipated. I suggest that this Assembly recommend the setting up of a fund which would carry out studies in disarmament and non-violence and find out ways and means of replacing bombs and bullets by bread and books. Working for abolishing of war is not only a historical necessity, not also a moral imperative, but a human
duty. It is a plain matter of enlightened self-interest, since it is indissolubly linked with our very survival."
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Background: Addressing the UN General Assembly in New York during an official visit to the United States, Mr. Desai called the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty discriminatory. He explained the position of his Government.