CND | Britain must support the Global Ban

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Britain must support the Global Ban


Despite the British government’s best attempts, the United Nations has adopted a resolution agreeing to convene a conference in March 2017 to negotiate a global nuclear ban treaty. 123 countries voted in favour, with only 38 voting against. Those opposed included the UK, the USA, France, Israel and Russia. North Korea voted in favour of the ban conference. The other nuclear states (India, Pakistan and China) abstained.

See a full list of how each country voted

The UK government has repeatedly said that it shares CND’s goal of a nuclear weapons free world, but insists this can only be achieved through a multilateral process. This process is now beginning and the government needs to be a constructive part of it – not trying to derail it. It is vital that Britain is at the table.

The international community has united before to ban biological and chemical weapons, land mines and cluster bombs. As the majority of the world is covered by nuclear weapons free zones anyway, a global ban treaty seems like the next logical step.

Thousand of CND supporters have already written to the Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson.

Can you help us by calling on the government to support a nuclear weapons ban and to play a full and constructive part when negotiations commence? 

Parliamentary CND has also written to the Chairs of relevant Parliamentary Committees asking them to hold evidence sessions on the ban. We have also got in touch with political parties encouraging them to send representatives to the negotiations.

We cannot let the UK refuse to participate in this crucial conference – we need to get them round the negotiating table. The British government should rethink its approach and support and participate in the UN global ban conference in 2017.

Write to Boris Johnson

Help get the UK government to support a global nuclear ban

Last month the First Committee of the United Nations General Assembly voted to convene a conference to begin negotiations on a Treaty to ban nuclear weapons. The move was supported by 123 nations, with 16 abstaining and 38, including the UK, voting against. This is despite the UK government claiming that they play a “full and active role in the UN First Committee on disarmament and international security”.

Responses to questions in Parliament have revealed that although the government spoke to other nations about the issue of nuclear disarmament, no specific reference was made to the current proposal before the UN.

The conference to negotiate a ban treaty is set to take place in New York, with the first session in March and the concluding session in June 2017. The treaty can be agreed without the agreement of the UK, but this is a chance for the government to send out a message globally that it is serious about achieving a world free of nuclear weapons.

CND will be campaigning over the coming months to ensure that the UK plays as constructive a role as possible during these negotiations.

Please join us in this campaign by emailing Boris Johnson using the standard letter below.

Subject: Please ensure the UK participates in UN efforts to ban nuclear weapons

Dear Foreign Secretary

You will be aware that the First Committee of the UN General Assembly recently voted by a large majority to convene a conference in 2017 with the aim of negotiating a treaty to ban nuclear weapons. I was deeply disappointed that the UK was one of the countries that opposed the move and I am writing to ask that the UK plays a constructive role in the negotiations when they begin next year.

The international community is overwhelmingly in support of a treaty to ban nuclear weapons. The failure to engage in the process, let alone support it, risks leaving the UK holding on to nuclear weapons as the rest of the world moves beyond them.

Successive UK Governments have stated a commitment to both a nuclear weapon-free world and its achievement through a multilateral process. This conference to negotiate a ban treaty represents a significant opportunity to make real progress towards this goal. I hope that the UK will not only play a full, constructive role in the negotiations but will also work to ensure that other countries who opposed the process will do the same.

I would be grateful if you would outline what plans the Government has to engage in the conference at the UN next year.

Yours sincerely

Paul Bull

Read CND’s report on why the UK government should support the United Nations initiative to ban nuclear weapons and its background



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