Global Security: Non-Proliferation - Foreign Affairs Committee Contents

 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

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