India
Practice Relating to Nuclear Weapons
At the CDDH, India voted against a Philippine amendment to include the use of dum-dum bullets, chemical and biological weapons in the list of grave breaches of Article 85 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I because:
The proposal does not include all the categor[ies] of weapons which are equally inhuman or rather more inhuman, inter alia the nuclear weapons. Nobody in this Conference can deny that these weapons fall into the most inhuman category of weapons. But, for the reasons best known to the sponsor of the proposal, nuclear weapons have been excluded. Whatever may be the political or other reasons for the exclusion of nuclear weapons from this proposal, the Indian delegation finds it difficult to support a proposal in principle which is unjust and perpetuates illogical discrimination. 
India, Statement at the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VI, CDDH/SR.44, 30 May 1977, p. 301.
In 1996, during a debate in the First Committee of the UN General Assembly, India stated:
We are aware that there continues to be a refusal by the nuclear-weapon States to engage in any meaningful discussions on the elimination of these weapons. The continued retention of these weapons by a few States which insist that they are essential to their security and that of their allies yet deny that same right to others has led to a situation in which the shadows become a smoke screen, a situation that is not only discriminatory but dangerously unstable. We view this situation with apprehension. We urge our colleagues here to take a closer look at the situation in the clear light of day. This is not a situation that can, or indeed should, be viewed with any sense of self-satisfaction. Nuclear weapons are still in existence. They are still being tested, improved and modernized. Our security and the security of the entire world remains at risk. 
India, Statement before the First Committee of the UN General Assembly UN Doc. A/C.1/51/PV.7, 18 October 1996, p. 12.
In 1996, during a debate in the First Committee of the UN General Assembly, India stated:
India and several other countries, including non-nuclear developing countries of the group of non-aligned and other developing countries, have for some years been proposing and underlining through a call for a legally binding prohibition on the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons the need for a convention on this issue. We have always been encouraged by the fact that a majority of Member States support this proposal. 
India, Statement before the First Committee of the UN General Assembly UN Doc. A/C.1/51/PV.14, 4 November 1996, p. 16.
In 1996, during a debate in the First Committee of the UN General Assembly, India stated:
The continued existence of nuclear weapons clearly remains the concern of the international community.
This idea – working towards the elimination of nuclear weapons – is one whose time has come. Governments, non-governmental organizations and even some think-tanks closely associated with establishments in nuclear-weapon States are questioning the relevance of nuclear weapons today. The call for the elimination of nuclear weapons is now almost universal. Thinking with regard to the security requirements of States in a nuclear-weapon-free world has already started. 
India, Statement before the First Committee of the UN General Assembly, UN Doc. A/C.1/51/PV.18, 11 November 1996, p. 10.
In 1999, at the release of the Draft Report of India’s National Security Advisory Board on Indian Nuclear Doctrine, India’s National Security Adviser introduced the Draft Report with Opening Remarks:
1. Preamble
1. The use of nuclear weapons in particular as well as other weapons of mass destruction constitutes the gravest threat to humanity and to peace and stability in the international system. Unlike the other two categories of weapons of mass destruction, biological and chemical weapons which have been outlawed by international treaties, nuclear weapons remain instruments for national and collective security, the possession of which on a selective basis has been sought to be legitimised through permanent extension of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) in May 1995. Nuclear weapon states have asserted that they will continue to rely on nuclear weapons with some of them adopting policies to use them even in a non-nuclear context. These developments amount to virtual abandonment of nuclear disarmament. This is a serious setback to the struggle of the international community to abolish weapons of mass destruction.
2. Objectives
0. In the absence of global nuclear disarmament India’s strategic interests require effective, credible nuclear deterrence and adequate retaliatory capability should deterrence fail. This is consistent with the UN Charter, which sanctions the right of self-defence.
3. The fundamental purpose of Indian nuclear weapons is to deter the use and threat of use of nuclear weapons by any State or entity against India and its forces. India will not be the first to initiate a nuclear strike, but will respond with punitive retaliation should deterrence fail.
4. India will not resort to the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons against States which do not possess nuclear weapons, or are not aligned with nuclear weapon powers.
8. Disarmament and Arms Control
0. Global, verifiable and non-discriminatory nuclear disarmament is a national security objective. India shall continue its efforts to achieve the goal of a nuclear weapon-free world at an early date.
1. Since no-first use of nuclear weapons is India’s basic commitment, every effort shall be made to persuade other States possessing nuclear weapons to join an international treaty banning first use.
2. Having provided unqualified negative security assurances, India shall work for internationally binding unconditional negative security assurances by nuclear weapon states to non-nuclear weapon states.
Ladies & Gentlemen,
I am happy to present to you the draft of the Nuclear Doctrine prepared by the National Security Board … Please note that this is a draft proposed by the NSAB and has not yet been approved by the Government …
As our thinking on the nuclear tests has been fairly well publicised, I do not intend to go over the ground again. Suffice it to say that this was a step necessitated by the security environment and our need to ensure for ourselves the element of strategic autonomy in decision making which we will need in the coming years. Our position has all along been that global security would be enhanced by the universal elimination of all nuclear weapons, and this remains our conviction today. Unfortunately, the indefinite extension of the Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1995 was in the reverse direction.
Our nuclear weapons are not country-specific but, as I mentioned earlier, are aimed at providing us the autonomy of exercising strategic choices in the best interest of our country, without fear or coercion in a nuclearised environment. That being so, we have adopted a policy of minimum deterrence as the basic building block of our nuclear thinking. Minimum but credible deterrence is the watchword of our nuclear doctrine. From this, flows the decision to adopt a no-first-use posture. We have therefore given unconditional guarantees to States that do not have nuclear weapons, or are not aligned with nuclear weapon powers. 
India, Opening remarks by the National Security Adviser at the release of the Draft Report of the National Security Advisory Board on Indian Nuclear Doctrine, 17 August 1999.
In April 2010, the Prime Minister of the Republic of India, the President of the Federative Republic of Brazil and the President of the Republic of South Africa met in Brasília, Brazil, for the Fourth Summit of the India-Brazil-South Africa Dialogue Forum:
3. Recalling the Declarations and Communiqués issued during the previous Summits, they took the opportunity to deliberate on the topics hereunder.
Disarmament and Non-Proliferation
22. The Leaders reaffirmed their commitment to the goal of complete elimination of nuclear weapons in a comprehensive, universal, non-discriminatory and verifiable manner, and expressed concern over the lack of progress in the realization of that goal. They underlined the need for reducing the role of nuclear weapons in strategic doctrines and expressed their support for effective international agreements to assure non-nuclear weapon States against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons. The Leaders expressed support for an International Convention Prohibiting the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Nuclear Weapons, leading to their destruction. They reiterated that nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation are mutually reinforcing processes, requiring continuous irreversible progress on both fronts. 
India, Declaration of the Heads of State/Government of India, Brazil and South Africa at the Fourth Summit of IBSA Dialogue Forum, 15 April 2010, §§ 3 and 22.
In 2010, in a speech at the National Defence College entitled “The Role of Force in Strategic Affairs”, India’s National Security Adviser stated:
The Indian nuclear doctrine … reflects this strategic culture, with its emphasis on minimal deterrence, no first use against non-nuclear weapon states and its direct linkage to nuclear disarmament. We have made it clear that while we need nuclear weapons for our own security, it is our goal to work for a world free of nuclear weapons, and that we are ready to undertake the necessary obligations to achieve that goal in a time-bound programme agreed to and implemented by all nuclear weapon and other states. 
India, Speech by the National Security Adviser at the National Defence College entitled “The Role of Force in Strategic Affairs”, 21 October 2010.
In 2013, in a statement before the First Committee of the UN General Assembly, the permanent representative of India stated:
India has been unwavering in its support for universal and non-discriminatory nuclear disarmament and the complete elimination of nuclear weapons and other WMDs [weapons of mass destruction]. Our policy is consistent with the highest priority to the goal of nuclear disarmament enshrined in the Final Document of the First Special Session of UN General Assembly on Disarmament and the Rajiv Gandhi Action Plan of 1988 for a Nuclear Weapon Free and Non-violent World Order. Speaking at the 68th session of the UNGA, on 28th September 2013, Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh voiced India’s support for time bound, universal, non-discriminatory, phased and verifiable nuclear disarmament. India remains convinced that its security would be strengthened in a nuclear weapon free and non-violent world order. …
India firmly believes that the goal of nuclear disarmament can be achieved by a step-by-step process underwritten by universal commitment and an agreed multilateral framework that is global and non-discriminatory. There is need for a meaningful dialogue among States possessing nuclear weapons to build trust and confidence and for reducing the salience of nuclear weapons in international affairs and security doctrines. India’s resolutions in the First Committee give expression to some of these ideas and have found support from a large number of States as steps for the progressive de-legitimization of nuclear weapons. Our Working Paper submitted to the UN General Assembly in 2006 also outlined a number of specific steps in this regard. India welcomes the high level political commitment shown by UN Members to nuclear disarmament at the High Level Meeting held on September 26, which was addressed by Shri Salman Khurshid, India’s Minister for External Affairs. India supports the proposed NAM [Non-Aligned Movement] resolution on follow up to the High Level Meeting on Nuclear Disarmament.
As a responsible nuclear power India has adopted the policy of credible minimum deterrence and a posture of no-first-use and non-use against non-nuclear weapon States and is prepared to convert these undertakings into multilateral legal arrangements. Our proposal for a Convention banning the use of nuclear weapons remains on the table. 
India, Statement by the permanent representative of India before the First Committee of the UN General Assembly, 9 October 2013.