National Situation

Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace Declaration


*Fourth National Convention on the Tenth Anniversary of*

*Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace (CNDP)*

* (10 – 12 December 2010)*

The Fourth National Convention of the Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace (CNDP), India, was held from 10th to 12th December 2010 in Delhi. The three earlier conventions were held in Nagpur in February 2008, in Jaipur in November 2004, and in Delhi in November 2000. It may be recalled that the
CNDP was founded to give focus and direction to the anger and concerns that emerged out of the spontaneous nationwide protests against the May 1998 nuclear weapon tests conducted by India and followed by Pakistan. CNDP opposes possession of nuclear weapons by any country including India and is
wholly committed to seeking the complete elimination of the existing stockpile of nuclear weapons at the global as well as regional level. CNDP is also dedicated to championing the cause of world peace by tirelessly striving for general and complete disarmament worldwide. It is an unforgettable fact that the era of nuclear threat began with the mindless atomic bombings of the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the USA on 6thand 9 th August 1945. CNDP has an unwavering duty to propagate the fervent appeal of the Hibakusha (the atomic bomb survivors), which stresses that: *“Such sufferings should never fall on anyone, anywhere in the world! Abolish nuclear weapons now! No More Hiroshimas! No More Nagasakis! No More

* *

We, the assembled delegates at this Fourth Convention of the CNDP, representing the peace movements in India and coming from various corners of the country, reaffirm our conviction in the Nagpur Declaration, the Jaipur Declaration and our Charter of 2000, which states that: *"Nuclear weapons are means of mass destruction regardless of who wields them. They are weapons of genocide. They can impose horrendous suffering on victims across generations. They destroy the ecosystem. The damage they do is lasting and
incurable. The sheer scale and character of the devastation they can cause makes them a profound and distinctive evil. For this and other reasons, the possession, use, or threat of use of nuclear weapons is absolutely immoral." * We also with equal stress re-emphasize that: *“the use, threat of use, or
possession of, and even preparation for making, nuclear weapons is immoral, illegal, and politically unacceptable under any circumstances."* Not only that: "nuclear deterrence" is absolutely *"abhorrent to human sentiment since it implies that a state if required to defend its own existence will act with pitiless disregard for the consequences to its own and its adversary's people.''*

Despite much opposition from the peace movements, the rulers of India and Pakistan – two resource-starved countries – persist with their pernicious nuclear weapons programmes, which are a tragic diversion from addressing vital social needs. Although there have been no further nuclear tests since
1998, the continuing test-flights of Agni and Hatf missiles show that the mindless race between them for perfecting nuclear-weapon-tipped missiles goes on unabated.

An alarming recent *development has been the Indo-U.S. Nuclear Deal. *Earlier, on 01 August 2008, the IAEA had approved the safeguards agreement with India after which the U.S. approached the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) to grant a waiver to India to commence civilian nuclear trade. The 45-nation NSG
granted the waiver to India on 06 September 2008 allowing it to access civilian nuclear technology and fuel from other countries. The implementation of this waiver makes India the only known country with nuclear
weapons, which is not a party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)but is still allowed to carry out nuclear commerce with the rest of the world. The granting of such a waiver to a non-NPT nation shows up yet again the deep hypocrisy of the Nuclear Weapon States (NWS) recognized by the NPT on the entire issue.

* *

*The nuclear deal, on the one hand, severely undermines the prospects of global nuclear disarmament by (selectively and arbitrarily) legitimizing India's nuclear status and, in the process, the possession of nuclear
weapons by the existing* NWS* – both so-called “recognized” and “unrecognized” ones – and also the aspirations of other actual and potential aspirants. On the other, it would also further intensify the arms race
between India and Pakistan – both nuclear and conventional. Pakistan, in fact, made a strong plea for a similar deal. And the brusque refusal by the U.S. would only further inflame its passions and thereby turn the dangerous  nuclear mess in South Asia all the more dangerous. Furthermore , the consequent shift in focus in favour of highly expensive nuclear power will significantly distort India's energy options at the cost of efforts to develop environmentally benign and renewable sources of energy. This deal is also an utterly reprehensible move to bring India closer to the U.S. orbit as a regional ally to facilitate execution of its global imperial ambitions. ** **The CNDP remains unwavering in its consistent and high-pitched
opposition to this deal.** *With this deeply disturbing background in mind,
the Fourth Convention of CNDP further resolves as under:

*1. Nuclear Weapons Free Region in South Asia*

*The CNDP, in active collaboration with other peace movements in the South Asian region and the Pakistan Peace Coalition in particular, will work towards a Nuclear Weapons Free Region in South Asia as well as establishing a zone of peace in South Asia. CNDP also calls on the people of Nepal who are in the process of drafting their new constitution to become the first country in the world to constitutionally declare itself as a state free of nuclear weapons. CNDP will similarly attempt to work in whatever way it can, in collaboration with the Pakistan Peace Coalition, towards creating conditions that could help the whole of erstwhile state of Kashmir, both under Indian and Pakistani control, to emerge as a zone of peace. This move is expected to provide a clear focus and strong momentum to the peace movements in the region, reinforce the forces of peace and radically bring down the nuclear danger by working on a concrete and workable action plan. A
regional convention of peace activists from the region will be convened at the earliest convenient time to work out a collective charter.

**II. Global Convention on Nuclear Disarmament***

The CNDP reiterates its commitment to upholding the essence of Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s action plan *"Towards a Nuclear Weapon Free and Non-Violent World Order”*, which was submitted to the UN General Assembly on 09 June 1988. The CNDP also notes with deep concern the total eclipse from the agenda of the UN of the McCloy-Zorin Accords on nuclear as well as general and complete disarmament, which was unanimously adopted by the UN General Assembly on 20 December 1961. It is significant that the McCloy-Zorin Accords conformed largely to the formulations submitted in a draft resolution prepared by India and eleven other nations and unanimously adopted by the UNGA on 15 November 1960. However, it is most disheartening to note that even 50 years later, the very nations that unanimously adopted these far-reaching resolutions have refused to initiate any significant step in the direction of nuclear disarmament, let alone general and complete disarmament. Therefore, on the eve of the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the McCloy-Zorin Accord, the CNDP urges the global peace movements to join the CNDP in appealing to the people of all nations to exert pressure on their respective governments to support the call for a global Nuclear Weapons [Abolition] Convention. Such a path-breaking event could be the initial step towards reaching the ultimate goal of general and complete disarmament worldwide. As human survival will be greatly imperiled by large-scale use of nuclear weapons also because of catastrophic climatic effects convening of such a convention has become extremely urgent.

The projected global disarmament convention would chart out a clear and unambiguous road-map towards universal, complete, verifiable and non-discriminatory nuclear disarmament within a defined time-frame. This would also entail all NWS – declared and undeclared, to immediately commence progressively lowering down the operating statuses of their nuclear weapons (de-alerting), commit them to a “no-use” or at least a "no-first-strike" pledge, and also to provide negative security assurance to all non-nuclear
weapon states (NNWS).  Furthermore, the NWS would have to continue with the moratorium/ ban on all types of nuclear tests, freeze all programmes for development and production of upgraded nuclear warheads and delivery/interception systems, freeze production of fissile materials, and  credibly commit to such other measures in consonance with the goal of nuclear disarmament. NNWS could make similar relevant commitments. CNDP will proactively coordinate with all sections of global peace movements and
unwaveringly work towards this goal.

* *

*III. Intensification of Struggles against Ignoring Safety and Hazardous Impact of Nuclear Power *

*The clinching of the Indo-US nuclear deal has radically fired up the fantasies of the Indian nuclear establishment, which remains undeterred by its appalling past performance in terms of power production and safety records. It is all set to embark upon a very ambitious plan of setting up mega nuclear plants dotting the entire coastal belt and expanding uranium mining in Jharkhand and also to Andhra Pradesh, Meghalaya and Rajasthan criminally unmindful of severely traumatic social and potentially disastrous ecological impacts and disregarding international safety standards. The CNDP, in keeping with its consistent track record and the mandates of its founding Charter, will actively collaborate with the grassroots people's movements to resist such mindless moves – singularly lacking in transparency and
democratic accountability, and provide all necessary and possible assistances in this regard while unequivocally condemning state repression against such peoples’ protests.

*IV. Demand for End of U.S. Occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, Just Resolution of the Palestine Issue to Ensure Global Peace and Facilitate Nuclear Disarmament** *

The U.S. occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan are vital components of the grand project known as the Project for the New American Century (PNAC). The continuing U.S. support for the apartheid Zionist regime of Israel and its inhuman oppression of the Palestinian people is just another facet of this ugly venture. Consistent with the goal of global nuclear disarmament, the CNDP demands immediate withdrawal of occupation forces from Iraq and Afghanistan. The CNDP also expresses its wholehearted solidarity with the
legitimate struggles of the Palestinian people for an independent state of Palestine, for right of return to their homeland, and against Zionist occupation of their land. The CNDP consequently commits itself to actively associate, in all possible manner, with all global, regional and local movements seeking justice to achieve these goals.

*V. Other Related Issues*

The CNDP clearly recognises that the spurts in national-chauvinist, majoritarian and militarist ideologies and political practices under whatever political banner, and the state at times playing a role of an active facilitator, by their very nature pose a major threat to anti-nuclear peace movements in India. The CNDP hence rededicates itself to fight all these pernicious tendencies in all its manifestations in collaboration with other forces fighting for a just, peaceful and harmonious order. Consistent with its core values, the CNDP reiterates its demand that Indo-Pak peace process be accelerated. It also demands easing of travel restrictions all over the SAARC region to promote friendship between peoples. It furthermore demands 10% progressive cuts in the so-called "defence" budgets of all the countries in the region. While roundly condemning all acts of terrorism, the CNDP is also opposed to the manipulation of the terrorism discourse to justify attack on democratic rights and suppression of democratic struggles. The urgent need for freezing and reducing the runaway senseless global military expenditure and controlling and eliminating the insidious global arms trade are the other continuing imperatives. The CNDP commits itself to
ally itself with all global and regional efforts towards achieving these goals.