UK Fears Political Instability in Wake of Blanket Nuclear Weapons Ban
© Courtesy of Northern Fleet press service
Military & Intelligence
19:04 09.12.2014 (updated 19:28 09.12.2014)
The British delegation stated that the drastic elimination of nuclear weapons would undermine global peace and stability. The UK representatives voiced the idea of a step-by-step disarmament.
Despite declining to officially attend the Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons, Beijing did send an official.
© Flickr/ The Official CTBTO Photostream
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VIENNA, December 9 (Sputnik), Daria Chernyshova – The United Kingdom believes a complete and immediate ban on nuclear weapons will endanger political stability, the British delegation to the Third International Conference on Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons said in its final statement. “The UK considers that this approach fails to take account, and therefore jeopardizes the stability and security which nuclear weapons help to ensure,” the UK delegation stated, speaking about an immediate ban on nuclear weapons or setting a schedule or fixed timetable for its inducement.
The delegation added that the drastic elimination of nuclear weapons would undermine peace and stability worldwide, and voiced the idea of a step-by-step approach to nuclear disarmament.
“The UK believes that step by step approach through the NPT [Non-Proliferation Treaty] is the only way to comply with the imperative of disarmament and with maintaining political stability. Progress is difficult but possible,” the British said.
Polaris Nuclear Missile
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London says it has decreased the number of warheads it holds from around 460 at its peak and aims to decrease the number even further, to 180 by mid-2020. “We would aim to create the conditions in which the nuclear weapons are no longer needed, we would also maintain a minimum credible nuclear deterrence for as long as it is necessary,” the British delegation stated Tuesday.
The Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons, known as the conference on NPT, kicked off Monday in the Austrian capital of Vienna.
Angela Kane, UN Disarmament High Representative.
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This is the first time that the United Kingdom has attended the conference. Following increasing pressure in Britain, the government was forced to send a delegation to the Austrian capital. The United States also decided to participate in the conference this time. Britain is one of the five officially recognized nuclear powers, who also make up the United Nations Security Council (the so-called P5 nuclear club of Britain, the United States, Russia, China and France).
All five nuclear powers are signatories to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which has a final goal of achieving complete nuclear disarmament. So far, the treaty is nowhere near its ultimate objective, indeed over the past decades India, Pakistan and North Korea have openly tested their nuclear weapons, while Israel is widely suspected to have a nuclear arsenal.