Statement by Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj, Permanent Representative of India to the UN, at the UNSC Open Debate: Risks Stemming from Violations of Agreements Regulating the Exports of Weapons and Military Equipments

Must read

10 April 2023

Let me begin by thanking the delegation of the Russian Federation for organizing today’s Open Debate. I also thank Under-Secretary-General Ms. Izumi Nakamitsu for her briefing.

  1. The illicit transfer and illegal diversion of arms, including conventional arms and ammunitions, Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW), as well as Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), their delivery systems and related materials, equipment, and technology to non-state actors, including armed and terrorist groups, pose serious threats to international peace and security.
  2. The unravelling of the global disarmament architecture and landmark arms control agreements raise deep concerns about the edifice built over several decades, and the uncertainties that lie on the road ahead.
  3. The export of weapons and military equipment in violation of international law, exacerbating geo-political tensions, cannot be ignored. All signatories, parties and members of international instruments, treaties and organizations on disarmament, arms control, and non-proliferation of WMD, their delivery systems and related materials, equipment, and technology, must strive to fulfill their obligations in a transparent manner.

Mr. President,

  1. The quantum of these threats multiplies when certain states with dubious proliferation credentials, in view of their masked proliferation networks and deceptive procurement practices of sensitive goods and technologies, collude with terrorists and other non-state actors. For example, the rise in volume and the quality of the small arms acquired by terrorist organizations remind us time and again that they cannot exist without the sponsorship or support of States.
  2. In our context, we are facing a serious challenge of cross-border supply of illicit weapons using drones, which cannot be possible without active support from the authorities in control of those territories. The international community should condemn such behavior and hold such states accountable for their misdeeds.
  3. As far as we are concerned, India has accorded high importance to the work of the Security Council’s 1540 Committee on non-proliferation. We have been consistent in stressing the importance of addressing the rapid evolution of proliferation risks due to new and emerging technologies, particularly access to WMDs, their means of delivery and related materials, equipment and technology by terrorist groups and other non-state actors.
  4. As a responsible member of the international community and as a significant importer and exporter of arms, India is a party to major international instruments such as the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), the Biological & Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC), the Convention on certain Conventional Weapons (CCW), among others. India also supports the UN Programme of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons as well as the UN Register on Conventional Arms and the UN Report on Military Expenditures. Further, India is a member of three of the multilateral export control regimes on non-proliferation of WMD and its delivery systems, related materials, equipment, and technologies, including the Wassenaar Arrangement which deals with export controls for conventional arms and dual-use goods and technologies.
  5. India has strong and effective national export controls governing the transfer of conventional weapons which conform to the highest international standards and remains committed to preventing the illegal transfer of conventional weapons. India has undertaken robust national efforts through appropriate legal and regulatory frameworks to address conventional ammunition management from the point of manufacture until its disposal or use. With our longstanding commitment to global non-proliferation, we have established a strong legal and regulatory system in India to implement the provisions of Resolution 1540 and our other international obligations.
  6. The pursuit of the prevention of unregulated trade in conventional weapons and related dual-use goods and technologies, Mr. President, cannot restrict and should not prejudice the legitimate right of states to engage in arms trade for self-defense and in pursuit of their foreign policy and national security interests. It is important to strike a balance between the obligations of exporters and importers, without unduly hampering legitimate trade in conventional arms.

Thank you!

More articles

Latest article