Over 120 UN states have started this week the negotiations to develop a legally binding instrument for the prohibition of nuclear weapons, along the lines of the bans on chemical weapons and landmines.
The UK Government decided to use its access to the United Nation, not to enter the discussion, but to join the US ambassador in a protest outside the room.
Despite the desperate efforts of nuclear countries to boycott this process it is clear that there is a worldwide support for the treaty.
UK’s statements had the following points:
- The ban fail’s to address key issues that must first be overcome to achieve lasting global disarmament
- The UK is completely committed to the long term goal of a world without nukes
- It recognises it has obligations as every country under the NPT
- The UK has a strong record on nuclear disarmament that it is proud of – it has reduced nuclear forces by 50% since the height of the cold war
- The UK is not attending negotiations because it does not believe that they will lead to effective progress – the ban cannot and will not work
- The best way to achieve the goal of global nuke disarmament is gradual multilateral negotiations with a step by step approach within existing international frameworks
- A step by step approach is what we need for trust and confidence
- We must take tangible steps towards a world where those with nukes feel able to relinquish them
- A ban will not in itself improve the international security environment, or increase trust and transparency, or meet the technical and procedural challenges of verification
- That is why the UK is standing with US Ambassador Haley today