Philip Booth, Gloucestershire Green party | 30.05.2005 16:15
Green delegates from the conference in New York reported that Britain was urging other countries to accept an unacceptable US position. No country will stomach being bullied by the US on nuclear non-proliferation, when at the same time the US is expanding their nuclear weapons research and development budget. The US undermined the fundamental prerequisite of non-proliferation - the goal of disarmament - by failing to implement even 1 of the 13 steps towards disarmament that they agreed to at the 2000 NPT review conference.
Jenny Jones, Green London Assembly Member who was also the Mayor of London's representative at the conference, commented : "The NPT is based on cooperation. US hypocrisy and intransigence has sabotaged the trust-based nature of the non-proliferation regime at exactly the time when it is most needed. Britain's credibility, that played such a positive role in reaching agreement at the last Review Conference, now lies in tatters because of its willingness to assist the US in sabotaging the conference."
It is extremely hypocritical and dangerous for Britain to retain nuclear weapons, plan to reopen the THORP reprocessing plant, and expand our nuclear power programme, whilst our negotiators are trying to persuade Iran to drop its nuclear ambitions. The Government must claw back some credibilty by scrapping the Mutual Defence Agreement made with the US, drop any plans to replace the nuclear Trident, and refuse to expand our own nuclear energy programme.
The NPT Treaty is essentially a deal: non-nuclear states agree not to try to acquire nuclear weapons, and in return, existing nuclear states agree to begin a process of disarmament. When you look at the way our government and the US attach importance to their nuclear weapons, how can we expect other countries not to harbour their own nuclear ambitions? It is time Britain honoured that deal and respected the vast majority of people who want an end to these weapons.
(i) The NPT calls for governments with nuclear weapons to neither use, threaten to use nor to develop nuclear weapons, and to take immediate steps for their abolition; and the governments of all countries to take action for the conclusion of an international treaty for the abolition of nuclear weapons.
Useful links for further information:
Gloucestershire Green party news release before recent election:
For CND’s coverage of the NPT:
Link to the Petition text:
UN NPT official website:
(ii) On Friday 27th May at 10.30 a.m. a petition organised by CND and Abolition 2000 (a coalition of many groups including the Green party), will be presented at 10 Downing Street. The petitions were handed in by Bruce Kent, Vice President of CND, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Vice Chair of CND, Claire Poyner of Abolition 2000 and Caroline Gilbert of Christian CND. Millions of signatures on the same petition were also handed in during the first week of the NPT Conference in New York by Hiroshi Taka of the Japan Council against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs, on behalf of Abolition 2000 the global abolition network.