Letter: First step to a ban on the bomb

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First step to a ban on the bomb

Sir: Tony Barber, in his informed look at the debates clogging progress on a nuclear test ban treaty ("Is this our post-atomic dawn?", 13 August), insists that a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty "is not an act of nuclear disarmament and may not even serve as an incentive to disarmament".

In isolation, he is right about the CTBT. However, as part of a series of graduated actions leading finally to a global Nuclear Weapons Convention, the test ban would be an extremely important document.

On the same day as your article appeared, CND published its Blueprint for a Nuclear Weapon-Free World, co-authored by myself. The blueprint argues for an immediate start to negotiations leading to a Nuclear Weapons Convention that would bring about worldwide nuclear disarmament within 25 years.

The blueprint puts the case for a series of steps, starting with a CTBT and followed by a ban on the production of fissile materials, an agreement on a policy of No First Use of nuclear weapons, an international fund to support the costs of disarmament and other actions designed to improve international security.

The irony of the Indian position is that they appear more committed to complete nuclear disarmament than any of the nuclear powers currently eager to secure a test ban.

MARTIN JONES

Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament

London N7

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