25 Oct 2019

UK commits to disarmament at UN General Assembly on nuclear weapons

The UK confirmed its commitment to disarmament in a speech to the UN General Assembly on the future of nuclear weapons.

Permanent Representative to the Conference on Disarmament Aidan Liddle spoke to the UN General Assembly confirming the UK’s commitment to a world free of nuclear weapons. He focussed on the need to adhere to the terms laid out in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and acknowledged the opportunity presented in the 2020 Review Conference to strengthen the promises made by the UN.

Liddle explained how the UK has acted on the treaty since it was first signed 50 years ago. This includes reducing the number of warheads to 120 and increasing the safety of nuclear deterrent capability.

Aidan Liddle said: “The UK continues to support the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty and Organisation, and the start and early conclusion of negotiations on a Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty in the Conference on Disarmament. We have maintained a voluntary moratorium on the production of fissile material for use in nuclear weapons or other explosive nuclear devices since 1995.”

“The UK contributes actively to work on nuclear disarmament verification, including through international initiatives such as the IPNDV and the Quad Partnership with Sweden, Norway and the US. In that regard we are proud to co-sponsor resolution L.22 on Nuclear Disarmament Verification, which we commend to the Committee”

“The UK also welcomes other efforts to explore realistic paths to nuclear disarmament, including the United States’ Creating the Environment for Nuclear Disarmament initiative and Sweden’s Stepping Stones initiative.”

In the speech, Mr Liddle said that the UK does not support the treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons. He also condemned the actions of Russia, North Korea, and Iran, which he said go against international nuclear standards.

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