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Nuclear Non-proliferation

Volume 451: debated on Wednesday 1 November 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations she has made to the Governments of (a) the United States, (b) Japan and (c) South Korea on nuclear non-proliferation. (97892)

My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has had a number of discussions with her United States, Japanese and South Korean colleagues on non-proliferation issues. These have focused on the current situations in Iran and North Korea.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations she has made to the Secretary-General of the United Nations regarding (a) reform of the nuclear non-proliferation regime, (b) closer working with other multilateral organisations, (c) the United Kingdom’s direct contribution to the United Nations and indirect contribution to funds and programmes, (d) individual member countries’ willingness to contribute to UN peacekeeping operations, (e) the effectiveness of the International Criminal Court and (f) reform of the Security Council and General Assembly procedures. (97900)

There have been no recent discussions on the issues the hon. Member raises. At their last meeting in September, my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary discussed with the Secretary-General of the UN the situations in Darfur, the Middle East, Lebanon, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Kosovo.

The UK continues to support measures to strengthen the nuclear non-proliferation regime and the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) which serves as its cornerstone. The UK looks forward to positive progress during the next NPT review cycle, which begins with the first Preparatory Commission in May 2007.

At the Security Council debate on 20 September on co-operation between the UN and regional organisations, I emphasised that the UN and other multilateral organisations should build stronger relationships, particularly on conflict resolution and prevention, terrorism, weapons proliferation, poverty, climate change and human rights.

The UK is committed to paying the UK’s assessed contribution to the UN Regular Budget in full and on time in line with our obligations under the UN Charter. We maintain a rigorous approach in UN Budget negotiations seeking efficiencies and savings, while also ensuring the UN has the resources it needs to carry out the tasks we and other member states ask of it.

The UK regularly lobbies troop contributing countries and potential troop contributing countries to participate in UN missions.

The UK is a strong supporter of the International Criminal Court and welcomes the transfer to The Hague of Thomas Lubanga, the first person to face trial by the court.The establishment and consolidation of the court is an important development in international justice and the fight against impunity for those who perpetrate genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

The UK continues to support expansion of the UN Security Council, to make it more representative of today’s world. At his foreign policy speech in Georgetown, my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister called for renewed momentum to the debate. The UK also supports a more effective General Assembly and welcomes measures adopted by UN member states, most recently in September, to streamline its work.