Nuclear Weapons

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 4th March 2013.

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Photo of Paul Flynn Paul Flynn Labour, Newport West

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representation his Department plans to have at the forthcoming Conference on the Consequences of Nuclear Weapon Use in Oslo on 4 and 5 March, organised by the Norwegian Foreign Minister; and if he will arrange to (a) place in the Library and (b) post on his departmental web site (i) any submissions to the conference made by the UK and (ii) any submissions made that make reference to UK policy.

Photo of Alistair Burt Alistair Burt The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

After careful consideration, the Government will not be sending a representative to the conference on the ‘humanitarian consequences of Nuclear Weapons’ in Oslo.

The Government supports fully the objective of a world without nuclear weapons, and is committed to working with all nations in pursuit of this shared goal. We fully understand the serious consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and will, alongside our P5 partners, continue to give the highest priority to ensuring that such consequences are avoided. While we recognise the seriousness of this subject and attach the utmost importance to it, we are concerned that the conference in Oslo will divert discussion and focus away from the practical steps required to create the conditions for further nuclear weapons reductions.

We believe that the practical, step-by-step approach that we are taking to progress multilateral nuclear disarmament through existing mechanisms such as the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and Conference on Disarmament, have proven to be the most effective means to increase stability and reduce nuclear dangers. We will therefore continue to work together with our P5 colleagues, and non nuclear weapon states, toward strengthening the foundation for mutual confidence and further disarmament efforts.

The Government has not made any submissions to the conference and has not, to date, received any submissions made by other parties to the conference.

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