UK 'cannot afford' to let global nuclear disarmament initiatives fail

UK 'cannot afford' to let global nuclear disarmament initiatives fail

By agency reporter
19 Apr 2013

Momentum is gathering for global nuclear disarmament initiatives. And as states gather in Geneva next week at the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty's Preparatory Committee, the UK "cannot afford to sit on the fence", the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) has said.

Despite the British Government's stated commitment to multilateral disarmament initiatives, it pointedly failed to attend a major conference in Oslo last month on the humanitarian consequences of a nuclear blast – despite Defence Secretary Philip Hammond being in Norway that week to oversee a military exercise. MPs are calling on the government to commit to attending a follow-up conference in Mexico.

As the NPT Prepcom approaches (22 April – 3 May), CND has urged the UK government to live up to its word on a commitment to a nuclear weapons-free world.

CND will host a meeting in Geneva on Monday 22 April entitled 'Scrap Trident: Political Perspectives on Disarmament'. Speakers include former Defence Minister Sir Nick Harvey MP, Member of the Scottish Parliament Bill Kidd, Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn, Rebecca Johnson (ICAN-UK) and CND's General Secretary Kate Hudson.

Hudson stated: "Recent tensions in the Korean Peninsula, as well as the faltering progress on a Weapons of Mass Destruction-Free Zone in the Middle East, make clear that the UK cannot afford to sit on the fence when it comes to global disarmament initiatives. Rather, the British government should be throwing its weight behind such endeavours – not equivocating or snubbing them as it did with the Oslo conference.

"Prime Minister David Cameron's recent statements on nuclear proliferation undermine the government's supposed commitment to global disarmament. Cameron stated that 'a world without nuclear weapons is a fine ideal..' but said that he is 'determined that we will maintain [nuclear weapons] for generations to come.'"

She concluded: "This just won't wash. The British Government can choose Cameron's disastrous logic of proliferation, or it can genuinely work towards limiting and abolishing these catastrophic weapons."

[Ekk/4]

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