Letter from Jenny Maxwell, Chair, West
Midlands Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament
1. West Midlands CND welcomes the inquiry
by the Foreign Affairs Committee.
2. The Non-Proliferation Treaty has, until
now, been mostly effective in preventing the spread of nuclear
weapons to countries which did not have them when the NPT came
3. The exceptions are India, Pakistan and
Israel which remain outside the treaty.
4. The recent treaty on nuclear co-operation
between the United States and India will do nothing to encourage
India to join the NPT as a non-nuclear state, and is seen by many
as violating Article 1 of the NPT. Jayantha Dhanapala, former
UN Under-Secretary for Disarmament, has called it a "major
setback in international relations [that] violates the NPT".
5. The presence of nuclear weapons in Israel
is extremely de-stabilising in the Middle East and can only encourage
others in the region, notably Iran, to acquire their own nuclear
arsenals. More than 40 nations, including some Arab states
and Israel, have formed a Union for the Mediterranean. A final
declaration from its meeting said its members would: "pursue
a mutually and effectively verifiable Middle East Zone free of
weapons of mass destruction".
6. The P5, far from honouring their commitments
under Article 6 of the NPT, are modernising their nuclear
arsenals and unless there is genuine movement on their part, the
NPT could be in danger of collapse at its Conference in 2010.
7. The recent agreements on missile defence
bases between the United States and Poland on the one hand and
the Czech Reublic on the other has produced a predictably dangerous
response from Russia.
1. The UK should attempt to dissuade the
United States from pursuing its agreement with India on nuclear
2. The UK should actively support the movement
for a Nuclear Weapon Free Zone in the Middle East.
3. The UK should take a world lead in honouring
its commitments under Article 6 and abandoning plans to renew
4. The UK should refuse to allow the US
to use the Yorkshire bases of Fylingdales and Menwith Hill for
the US missile defence system, which is leading to a new arms
5 September 2008