Global Security: Non-Proliferation - Foreign Affairs Committee Contents

 Letter from Roger Kattenhorn

  I would like to point out to your Committee that since January 1967 the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) has been effective in preventing the spread of nuclear weapons to other countries. However this positive result is more to the credit of the non-nuclear signatories (with the exception of North Korea). These nations have been more diligent in honouring their commitments and the spirit of the Treaty than the five original nuclear weapons states (P5) which include the UK. Indeed far from pursuing "negotiations in good faith …on a treaty on general and complete disarmament" they have in fact actively engaged in the modernisation of their nuclear arsenals.

  Unless there is some genuine positive movement on the part of the P5 the NPT is in danger of disintegrating, a prospect that raises the possibility of a return to the free-for-all of 19th century power politics with the added terror and distortion of atomic weapons.

  I would like your Committee to consider the Chinese proposal to the 2005 NPT Review which suggested that the P5 countries should make a commitment not to attack non-nuclear countries with atomic weapons. This seems a reasonable way of reducing the deterrent arguments put forward at different times by countries like North Korea, Israel, Taiwan and Iran. In this context your Committee should also consider the practice of P5 states siting nuclear weapons in the territories of non-nuclear states.

  Thank you for your consideration of these points.

30 August 2008

previous page contents next page

House of Commons home page Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2009
Prepared 14 June 2009