Letter: Nuclear perils

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The Independent Culture
Sir: The UK has once again made contradictory statements at the United Nations in reiterating a commitment to nuclear disarmament under Article 6 of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, while declining to agree to specific measures to achieve that objective and stating that they would be incompatible with a "credible minimum deterrent".

Led by the UK, the US and France, only 13 states voted against a resolution "Towards a nuclear-weapon-free world: The need for a new agenda" in the UN General Assembly on 9 November.

Recent developments threaten to reverse the generally positive moves of recent years. The US seems determined to develop a missile defence system at the risk of undermining the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and to maintain an expensive programme of nuclear weapons research which the UK is both contributing to and benefiting from. France is also moving ahead with expensive laboratory testing research for nuclear warhead development, while replacing its nuclear submarine ballistic missile capability.

The UK's fourth Trident submarine, Vengeance, will be commissioned into the Royal Navy at the Barrow-in-Furness shipyard on 27 November. Will this ceremony represent the UK's commitment to nuclear disarmament?


Chair, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament

London N7