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Posted on Nov 30, 10:09PM | IANS
India Friday urged the international community to join hands to eliminate risks of atomic weapons falling into the hands of terrorists and non-state actors.
"As a victim of terrorism for over three decades, we are fully cognizant of the catastrophic dangers that transfers of WMDs (weapons of mass destruction) to non-state and terrorists could entail," Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai said at a workshop here.
"The international community must join hands in eliminating the risks relating to sensitive materials and technologies falling into the hands of terrorists and non-state actors," he said.
"The focus on non-state actors should in no way diminish state accountability in combating terrorism, dismantling its support infrastructure or its linkages with WMD," he said.
Mathai added that India had highlighted the need for early conclusion of negotiations on the Draft Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism at the UN.
Highlighting its non-proliferation standards, Mathai stressed that India had enacted a slew of effective laws and regulations and had put in place institutionalized administrative mechanisms to prohibit access of WMDs to terrorists and non-state actors.
"India is committed to maintaining effective national export controls consistent with the highest international standards and is prepared to make its contribution as a full member of the respective multilateral export control regimes," he said.
Mathai is sherpa (special representative) for the Nuclear Security Summit. The two-day workshop is being organized by India in cooperation with the UN Office of Disarmament Affairs.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had announced India's initiative to host this workshop during the Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul in March.
The workshop, which coincides with India's presidency of the UN Security Council this month, is being attended by all countries represented on the UN Security Council and the new incoming members, the UN, the International Atomic Energy Agency and representatives of the Committee established under UNSC Resolution 1540.