Further submission from Tim Hart
I was very pleased to receive the notice that
the Committee has decided to widen its terms of reference to include
conventional weapons. I feel that this is an appropriate and necessary
step in being able to fully address the issue.
I have also noted that you have extended the
deadline for submissions to the Committee to the 1 December
2008. I originally wrote to you on the 28 August 2008 and
you have acknowledged safe receipt of my letter. I would be grateful
if the Committee would consider the contents of this letter together
with those contained in my letter of 28 August.
The IISS has recently published a report: ["Abolishing
Nuclear Weapons" by George Perkovich and James M. Acton.]
The report examines the strategic challenges faced in attempts
to abolish nuclear weapons and the associated technical issues.
I urge the Committee to find time to study the report and to seek
ways of taking forward the ideas contained in it.
Since my previous letter to you the extent of
the financial crisis has become ever more apparent and it has
yet to have its full impact. It is already leading to heightened
tension in international relations as individual countries seek
to protect their domestic populations from its consequences. Apart
from disputes over debts, loans, tariffs, culpability etc. it
seems likely that this tension may lead to disputes over natural
resources as these key resources become economically more expensive
and environmentally scarce. Wars may occur over food and water
as people in the poor countries of the world struggle to survive.
Such local conflicts could easily escalate into regional and global
war. The sense of grievance of citizens in these badly affected
countries may also manifest itself in increased terrorism. If
the UK government, along with other countries, produce more energy
with nuclear power [a proposal that I oppose] then this presents
not only an inherent risk from these installations, but also the
associated risk of further nuclear proliferation and nuclear terrorism.
For these additional reasons I feel that the
Committee's work has gained even more urgency and poignancy in
recent weeks. The presence of such hugely destructive weapons
in the hands of so many countries and the imbalance of power and
the sense of injustice which this fact and other circumstances
provoke poses a grave risk that one or other nation will resort
to the use of nuclear and other mass destruction weapons in desperation
at its predicament.
28 October 2009