Christian activists lobby embassies on nuclear arms

By agency reporter
March 2, 2010

Members of the Christian Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CCND) called yesterday (1 March) on fifteen London-based embassies to ask what steps their countries are taking towards achieving international nuclear disarmament.

The visits were focused on states which currently own nuclear weapons and those advocating nuclear disarmament.

CCND’s action comes ahead of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference, due to take place in New York in May.

The NPT, which came into force in 1970, is currently the only international agreement that creates a binding multilateral commitment for the abolition of all nuclear weapons. It commits the first five nuclear weapons states –the USA, Russia, the UK, France and China - to “pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race”.

CCND supporters divided into three groups to visit five embassies each.

At the US Embassy, the campaigners were able to meet with the Embassy’s First Political Secretary, Chris Palmer. He affirmed President Obama’s commitment to arms control measures through negotiations with Russia but made no specific promises.

At the Mexican Embassy, Susana Garduño, Multilateral Affairs Commissioner, was keen to emphasise her country’s membership of the New Agenda Coalition of states, pursing disarmament through both regional and international non-proliferation negotiations.

Garduño also referred to Mexico’s involvement in the International Commission on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament as an indication of broader international efforts to reinvigorate the process towards non-proliferation and disarmament leading up to the NPT Review Conference.

Michael Pulham, co-chair of Christian CND, said he considered the embassy visits important.

“Our liaison with the nuclear-related countries is crucial for finding out their position on disarmament and urging further progress towards the elimination of nuclear weapons,” he explained.


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