Labour attacks diplomat over nuclear talks
Saturday 22 April 1995
Mr Cook, who otherwise supports government backing for an indefinite extension of the treaty, said efforts by Sir Michael Weston, the British Ambassador to the New York conference, to exclude non-governmental groups and the media from committee meetings was inconsistent with its demand that the final vote be by public roll call.
The claim was dismissed as "nonsense" by Sir Michael. He said that while the issue of media attendance had been discussed, he "didn't take a position". Britain had pressed only that the same rules should apply to all the conference's committees, he said.
The ambassador acknowledged, however, that he supported a decision already taken to exclude press and all non-governmental organisations (NGOs) from committee sessions when they draft texts. "You can't draft and you can't get the flexibility from delegations you need if you have to take account of the public gallery.",
While it is not unusual for drafting sessions of United Nations committees to be behind closed doors, NGOs at this conference believe they are deliberately being held at an unusual distance from the NPT meeting. "There is a general feeling that we are finding ourselves far more excluded than would be normal at other such UN conferences", Dan Plesch, director of Basic, the British American Security Information Council, said yesterday,
Mr Cook said there could be "no justification" for discussing the NPT extension in secret."The future of the Non-Proliferation Treaty is of vital interest to everyone. In attempting to prevent the media and non- governmental organisations from gaining access to the main committee sessions, the Government is denying the public an opportunity to hold it accountable."
The US yesterday tried to save its controversial nuclear deal with North Korea by proposing higher-level talks after negotiations in Berlin broke down and the North Korean team flew home. North Korea refuses to accept South Korean light-water technology to replace its gas-graphite reactors.
North Korea' senior negotiator, Kim Jong-U, blamed an "unrealistic and unreasonable" American approach for the breakdown.
Warren Christopher, the US Secretary of State, said the Clinton administration was still ready to continue negotiating, providing the North Koreans did not reload their reactors to produce more plutonium, the key ingredient in nuclear bombs. He conceded the Berlin talks had failed but did not consider the problem insoluble. The US is proposing higher- level talks in Geneva, to be conducted by its chief negotiator, Ambassador Robert Gallucci.
Meanwhile, in the main conference in New York, Iran's Foreign Minister, Ali Akbar Velayati, launched an assault on nuclear powers, accusing them of building up nuclear capabilities "in an unbridled fashion" and assisting Israel's nuclear programme.
- 1 The black and blue dress: Makers considering a white and gold version
- 2 Husband and wife die holding hands within hours of each other after 67 years of marriage
- 3 What color is The Dress, white and gold or blue and black? An eyewitness gives a definitive answer
- 5 Fearne Cotton quits Radio 1 after ten years for 'family and new adventures'
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
Half of Ukip voters say they are prejudiced against people of other races
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Aqsa Mahmood branded a 'disgrace' by her parents after claims she recruited three UK girls flying to Middle East
salary equal to £40K pro-rata: Sauce Recruitment: Are you available to start a...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Creative Front-End Developer - Claph...
£18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The role in this successful eco...
£28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000 QA Tes...