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UN General Assembly: Nuclear Disarmament

Volume 465: debated on Thursday 25 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs at what level his Department is represented at the ongoing 62nd session of the United Nations General Assembly; what proposals the UK will present before the committee dealing with nuclear disarmament; and if he will make a statement. (160819)

The United Kingdom is represented at the United Nations General Assembly First Committee by John Duncan, our ambassador for Multilateral Arms Control and Disarmament and Permanent Representative to the Conference on Disarmament at Geneva. Ambassador Duncan is supported by colleagues based in Geneva, New York and London. Within First Committee the UK traditionally makes common statements with our EU partners. Accordingly, the EU delivered a statement in the nuclear weapons debate on 17 October this year. The EU reiterated its support for the pursuit of nuclear disarmament in accordance with article VI of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and stressed the need for an overall reduction of the global stockpile of nuclear weapons, in particular by those countries which possess the largest arsenals. The EU urged all states to sign and ratify the comprehensive nuclear-test ban treaty without delay and to begin negotiation without preconditions on a fissile material cut-off treaty in the conference on disarmament. The EU also called on all states concerned to take appropriate practical measures in order to reduce the risk of accidental nuclear war.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the UK will make a statement at the United Nations General Assembly on (a) the operating status of nuclear weapons, (b) renewed determination towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons and (c) the World Nuclear Weapons convention; and if he will make a statement. (160820)

Within the United Nations General Assembly First Committee the UK traditionally makes common statements with our EU partners. Accordingly, the EU delivered a statement in the nuclear weapons debate on 17 October this year. The EU reiterated its support for the pursuit of nuclear disarmament in accordance with article VI of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and stressed the need for an overall reduction of the global stockpile of nuclear weapons, in particular by those countries which possess the largest arsenals. The EU also called on all states concerned to take appropriate practical measures in order to reduce the risk of accidental nuclear war. There are a number of resolutions that will be voted upon during the First Committee that relate to the issues raised. The possibility of the UK delivering a national explanation of vote on some of these resolutions is currently being considered.