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International Science and Technology Centre

Ministry of Defence written question – answered on 25th March 2020.

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Photo of Lord Browne of Ladyton Lord Browne of Ladyton Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to affirm their commitment to the International Science and Technology Centre (ISTC); and what consideration they have given to the UK’s future membership of the ISTC as a state party.

Photo of Baroness Goldie Baroness Goldie Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip), The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence

The Government recognises that the ISTC has played a valuable role in preventing the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction-related scientific and technical expertise from former Soviet programmes, and mitigating broader chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) risks. However, HMG currently funds only a small number of projects through the ISTC. After careful consideration, we have therefore concluded that the recent and currently anticipated level of UK engagement with the ISTC would not warrant the expected costs of future UK membership of the ISTC as a Funding Party. The UK will continue to play a leading international role in countering the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and related expertise, and mitigating CBRN risks, including funding projects through the ISTC, where appropriate.

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