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Nuclear Weapons

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 25th February 2013.

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Photo of Jeremy Corbyn Jeremy Corbyn Labour, Islington North

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had regarding support for a Nuclear Weapons Convention; and if he will make a statement.

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

The UK is committed to the long-term goal of a world without nuclear weapons and is actively working towards creating the conditions to realise that goal. The primary means to achieve this should be through the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and specifically through the NPT Action Plan that was agreed by all NPT signatories in 2010.

The UK Government believes that a Nuclear Weapons Convention could not succeed in the present international environment. Until the necessary political and security conditions are in place, we believe that attempts to establish such a convention would risk diluting international efforts around the NPT and undermining or duplicating the work of established disarmament fora, including the Conference on Disarmament.

The UK's focus at present should be on building the right environment that will make multilateral nuclear disarmament a realistic possibility. As the instigator of the inaugural P5 Conference, we are working to help build the trust and mutual confidence between states needed to achieve this. We are working with international partners to make it as hard as possible for states to develop, produce or acquire nuclear weapons. Key to this will be starting negotiations in the Conference on Disarmament towards a Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty and achieving the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty.

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