Indian Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, inaugurated an international conference in New Delhi on June 9-10, 2008 to mark the 20th anniversary of Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s historic speech to the United Nations calling for complete nuclear disarmament. The conference was organized by WAAS Fellow Jasjit Singh, head of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, and sponsored by the Ministry of External Affairs of the Government of India. Other keynote speakers included India’s Foreign Minister, Pranab Mukherjee; the Vice President of India, Mohamad Hamid Ansari; Minister Mani Shankar Iyer; Canadian Senator Douglas Roche; Australian Ambassador Richard Butler; senior Indian diplomats and military officers; as well as Fellows Jonathan Granoff of Global Security Institute (USA) and Garry Jacobs of The Mother’s Service Society (India). The Academy was also represented by Ivo Slaus, Director, South Eastern Europe Division of WAAS.
A strong consensus emerged during the deliberations that the continued existence of nuclear weapons represents a dire threat to humanity; that the present nuclear apartheid world is illegitimate and destabilizing; and that nothing short of complete and total nuclear disarmament can provide an adequate foundation for addressing the crucial issues facing humanity today. Participants called for replacement of the exclusive competitive security framework with an inclusive cooperative security system which renounces the principle of force as a means for settlement of international disputes. Abolition of nuclear weapons and democratization of the UN systems were identified as urgent and essential steps required for management of global problems.
In order to build on the momentum generated by the New Delhi meeting, the Academy’s Hyderabad General Assembly in October 2008 will include sessions specifically focusing on the formulation of a comprehensive, integrated conception and approach to global human security.
Inaugural Address Speech of the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
- India’s Role in Nuclear Abolition & Cooperative Security, by Garry Jacobs
- Beyond Deterrence, by Jonathan Granoff