Global Security: Non-Proliferation - Foreign Affairs Committee Contents

Letter from Parliamentary Clerk, Home Office to the Committee Specialist

  Thank you for your letter of 12 February 2009 about ratification by the UK of the UN International Convention for the suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism. I am sorry for the slight delay in replying.

  The United Kingdom signed the Convention when it opened for signature in September 2005 and remains fully committed to the aims of the Convention which, as you state, entered into force in July 2007.

  Following signature of the Convention, Home Office policy leads assessed the provisions of the Convention against UK legislation to ensure sufficient powers were in place to enable the UK to implement the Convention, and submitted an Explanatory Memorandum to parliament. Concerns around whether or not the necessary consultations had taken place with the Devolved Administration, Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies have delayed the final stages of the ratification process. The final stage of the process involves FCO preparing a formal instrument of ratification, and notifying the UN. This process can be carried out in a matter of weeks.

  I can confirm that Home Office policy officials are double checking, as a matter of priority, that sufficient consultation has taken place and that all relevant procedures have been followed. Once that has been done, the Home Office will instruct the FCO to press ahead with the final stage of the ratification process, as outlined above. Finally, we should therefore be in a position to conclude the process and notify the UN of UK ratification ahead of its annual treaty events in September 2009.

24 March 2009

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