Global Security: Non-Proliferation - Foreign Affairs Committee Contents

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 into force.

  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 cooperation.

  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 Trident.

  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 race.

5 September 2008

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