Statements of Support

“The new Top-Level Group convened by Des Browne MP matches a vision of a world free of nuclear weapons with practical and informed suggestions on how to move closer to that goal in a world of complex and interactive challenges.  When former ministers and the military—especially those who have had direct responsibility for nuclear arsenals—tell us that in today’s world the steps toward disarmament and strengthening the global non-proliferation norm will make us safer and more secure, we must listen.  To the extent that dialogue and sharing of perspectives can contribute to this goal, even in some of the most difficult situations, Pugwash stands ready to work collaboratively in creating opportunities for promoting these timely and urgent discussions.”

Prof. Paolo Cotta-Ramusino, Secretary General, Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs – Co-Recipients, 1995 Nobel Peace Prize

“The threat of the further proliferation of nuclear weapons to more states and terrorist organisations is one of the most serious facing humanity today. The formation of this Top Level Group is a welcome demonstration of a real intent to tackle it. Such an eminent group of parliamentarians, drawn from both houses and from all major political parties, will give leadership and focus to the debate at home and provide a real opportunity for focused political engagement with others around the world. The Top Level Group deserves the active support of all those care about nuclear proliferation and disarmament.”

Dr Ian Kearns, Senior Fellow, Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies, October 2009.

“The United Nations Association of the UK warmly welcomes the establishment of a top level, cross-party group to support multilateral nuclear disarmament and the strengthening of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.  2010 is going to be a critical year for both these issues, with major international conferences in March and May.  It is right that Britain as a recognised nuclear weapons state and as a signatory of the NPT should play an active and constructive role, encouraged by input from a distinguished group such as that being launched on 29 October.”

Lord Hannay of Chiswick, Chair of UNA-UK, October 2009.

“The creation of the Top Level Group illustrates the level of cross-party, mainstream support for the multilateral nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation agenda. Acting as an incubator and a catalyst for ideas that could shift the possibilities for action in the UK, as well as in Europe and in transatlantic conversations, the TLG promises to provide the necessary political leadership to shift opinion and extend the boundaries of what is possible. Des Browne’s passion on this agenda is admirable, the reputation of the individuals within the group unquestionable – it looks to be a powerful combination that BASIC will be honoured to work alongside.”

Paul Ingram, Executive Director, British American Security and Information Council (BASIC), October 2009.

“The Top Level Group has a vital role in ensuring that the issues of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation remain high on the agenda of the British Government. The UK has been the most forward-leaning the nuclear weapon states on this issue in recent years. But there is no room for complacency. As we move into a new phase in the international debate, up to and beyond the NPT Review Conference, it is more vital than ever that we have an informed debate on how we can take this agenda forward. The Top Level Group is exceptionally well placed to lead it.”

Prof Malcolm Chalmers, Professorial Fellow in British Security Policy at the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies (RUSI)

“The Top-Level Group will make a vital contribution to global efforts to achieve a world free of nuclear weapons. Sustained British leadership toward that goal is essential for global and national security and it will require exactly the cross-party support, wisdom and experience the Group provides. The calibre of the Group has the potential to reach across global political and geographic divides and foster effective dialogue on this most important of issues.”

Dr Nick Ritchie, Research Fellow, Bradford Disarmament Research Centre, Department of Peace Studies, University of Bradford, October 2009.

“President Obama laid out an exciting vision of a nuclear weapon free world in Prague, and the Top Level Group, comprising members with political and military expertise and experience of the highest order, is an excellent vehicle to help make this vision a reality. Des Browne MP and his colleagues are to be congratulated for their initiative, which will do much to advance the British contribution to multi-lateral disarmament.”

Martin Butcher, Consultant Analyst and Researcher in Non-Proliferation and Disarmament, October 2009.