Global Security: Non-Proliferation - Foreign Affairs Committee Contents

 Letter from Dr Arianna Andreangeli

  I wish to make a submission to the current inquiry pending before the Foreign Affairs Committee and concerning the current approach as well as the future perspectives of the UK in relation to Global Security and the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and focusing especially on the effectiveness of the existing international arrangements.

    —  Current arrangements: the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which is due for review in 2010, has proved to be effective in curbing the ambitions of countries other than the P5 states to acquire nuclear weapons. However, it is my opinion that it is the very P5 members that are threatening its effectiveness. It appears from the policies being pursued by some of them that the existing arsenals, far from being progressively dismantled, are actually being modernised and expanded. For instance, the recent US/Poland agreement as regards the installation of missile defence interceptors, belonging to the American strategy of ballistic missile defence, appears inconsistent with the Treaty's spirit and has caused a predictably dangerous reaction from Russia.

    —  Future prospects: the United Kingdom Government has consistently argued that the existing Treaty allows the P5 countries to retain nuclear weapons. However, I would like to argue that such an interpretation of the Treaty defies its very purpose, which is that of leading to the eventual elimination of the nuclear threat on the part of all states, including the P5. In addition, all the other countries have agreed not to develop new nuclear capability.

  The Non Proliferation Treaty has proven truly effective in deterring an arms race on the part of non-P5 countries. However, the policies adopted by some of the P5 states risk undermining its purpose and could lead to its collapse. I would therefore urge your Committee to call upon the Cabinet to renew the British obligations to non-proliferation undertaken as a result of the NPT by:

    —  Dropping its plans to replace Trident;

    —  Denying the US use of the bases in Flyngdales and Menwith Hill for ballistic missile defence purposes.

  It is my opinion that global security which is stable and based on true commitment to peace cannot be based on the threat of nuclear weapons being developed or replaced, but should instead be built upon mutual understanding and on true disarmament.

  I am very grateful for the time the Committee will devote to my submission and look forward to the final report.

8 September 2008

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