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Nuclear Weapons

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN 217218, tabled on 4 December 2014

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the outcomes of the international conference on the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons held in Vienna on 8 and 9 December 2014; if he will publish on his Department's website all print and oral submissions made by the UK to the conference; and if he will make a statement.

Answered on

10 December 2014

A very wide range of views was expressed by participants at the Conference, as reflected in the factual summary of the conference issued under the Chair’s authority. Some argued that the way to achieve the goal of a world without nuclear weapons was to ban weapons now, or to fix a timetable for their elimination. This approach fails to take account of the stability and security which nuclear weapons can help to secure. None of us would gain from a loss of that stability. The United Kingdom believes that the UN Disarmament Machinery and the Non-Proliferation Treaty provide the right forum for working towards a world without nuclear weapons. The UK Ambassador restated our concern at the humanitarian consequences which could result from the use of nuclear weapons. That is why the UK works extremely hard to prevent the use of nuclear weapons, to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and to keep our own nuclear weapons safe and secure. We are also committed to working towards a world without nuclear weapons. We shall, however, retain a credible, continuous and submarine-based deterrent for as long as the global security situation makes it necessary. The UK intervention at the conference has already been published on the website. I have also arranged for a copy to be placed in the Library of the House.

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