Weapons of Mass Destruction

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 16th January 2007.

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Photo of Angus Robertson Angus Robertson Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Defence), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission's report Weapons of Terror Freeing the World of Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Arms, with particular reference to (a) nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation and (b) the role of the Non-Proliferation Treaty structure and the comprehensive test ban treaty in disarmament and non-proliferation; and if she will make a statement.

Photo of Kim Howells Kim Howells Minister of State (Middle East), Foreign & Commonwealth Office

I was grateful to Hans Blix and the Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission for their thoughtful work in producing this report. Some of the Commission's recommendations on non-proliferation and disarmament have great merit, e.g. on Comprehensive Safeguards and the Additional Protocol. But not all remain relevant (e.g. on North Korea and Iran where recent UN Security Council Resolutions have changed priorities for action). I do not believe that a change in Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty institutional arrangements will bring about substantive change in the positions of states party to the treaty. Political will drives change in these areas. The UK continues to support early entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. Ratification by the remaining Annex II states is key.

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