"India remains committed to the goal of a nuclear weapons free world and the complete elimination of nuclear weapons consistent with the highest priority accorded to nuclear disarmament," India's Permanent Representative to the UN, Syed Akbaruddin, said in his remarks at the high-level plenary meeting to commemorate and promote the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons on Tuesday.
He said that this goal can be achieved through a step-by-step process underwritten by a universal commitment and an agreed global and non-discriminatory multilateral framework.
"There is need for a meaningful dialogue among all states possessing nuclear weapons to build trust and confidence and for reducing the salience of nuclear weapons in international affairs and security doctrines," the Indian diplomat said.
India, he said, considers the Conference on Disarmament -- the world's single multilateral disarmament negotiating forum -- as the appropriate forum for the commencement of negotiations on nuclear disarmament.
Mr Akbaruddin regretted that the conference has been prevented from adopting a programme of work that reflects the international community's desire for progress on nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation in all its aspects.
"For its part, India stands ready to commence negotiations in the Conference on Disarmament on a comprehensive Nuclear Weapons Convention on the lines of the Chemical Weapons Convention, the only comprehensive and internationally verifiable treaty so far banning an entire category of weapons of mass destruction and providing for their elimination," the top Indian diplomat said.
"We believe that increasing restraints on the use of nuclear weapons would reduce the probability of their use whether deliberate, unintentional or accidental, and this process could contribute to the progressive de-legitimisation of nuclear weapons, an essential step for their eventual elimination, as has been the experience for chemical and biological weapons," Mr Akbaruddin said.
Earlier in his remarks, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the only world that is safe from the use of nuclear weapons is a world that is completely free of the nuclear weapons themselves.
"The goal of such a world is universally held, but of late it has been subject to numerous challenges," he said.
Condemning a series of nuclear and missile tests by North Korea, the UN chief said Pyongyang's "provocative" actions have heightened tensions and highlighted the dangers of proliferation.