Why We Joined

WHY WE JOINED THE TOP LEVEL GROUP

 “The whole issue of non-proliferation on a multilateral basis interests me and I wish to see efforts in the UK which could compliment and support the current initiative in the United States.”

Rt Hon Michael Ancram MP

 

 “The group was formed after Margaret Beckett approached me and Ming Campbell to discuss the possibility of an all party British initiative similar to that underway in the United States led by George P. Shultz, William J. Perry, Henry A. Kissinger and Sam Nunn.  I agreed immediately.  Nuclear proliferation is the greatest risk we face.  We have vastly dangerous technology in a world which is politically less stable than it was.  We simply must give fresh impetus to a drive to reduce that risk by ensuring that proliferation is first slowed and then reversed.”

Rt Hon James Arbuthnot MP

 

 “A non-partisan US group with high level direct experience in defence and foreign affairs – including Sam Nunn, Henry Kissinger, George Shultz and William Perry – now campaigns to advance nuclear disarmament and non proliferation. Following a speech on these issues I made, in Washington, as foreign secretary, and participation in a dialogue they held in London, they asked me to explore setting up a similar group in the UK. I am delighted to be part of it.”

Rt Hon Margaret Beckett MP

 

 “I would hope to contribute some practical knowledge to the Group’s deliberations, drawing on my experience of operating our strategic deterrent.  This was gained as a nuclear submariner, and being part of the higher command chain as Commander in Chief Fleet and First Sea Lord.  As Chief of Defence Staff I was also involved in related defence policy.”

Admiral Lord Boyce

 

 “Our government quite deliberately committed the UK to a leadership role in multilateral disarmament.  Particularly, I am proud to have been the first national defence minister to address the UN Conference on Disarmament in Geneva. I am honoured and humbled to convene this impressive group of senior and experienced parliamentarians who are committed to the creation of a world free of nuclear weapons. There is no more urgent nor more worthwhile cause in politics.”

Rt Hon Des Browne MP

 

 “The opportunity for multilateral nuclear disarmament has never been greater. A number of events have brought this about, the Kissinger Schultz initiative in the United States, President Obama’s decision to make multilateral disarmament a priority and the focus provided by the 2010 Review Conference for the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty.  This is a debate in which Britain needs to play a part. The accumulated experience of our group will inform and direct that debate.”

Rt Hon Sir Menzies Campbell MP

 

 “Nuclear proliferation remains the most catastrophic threat facing humanity. The TLG is making a serious effort to make international progress to prevent that and I want to give it all my support.”

Rt Hon Charles Clarke MP

 

 “How ever difficult and unlikely it may be to achieve, I believe we should strive for a world without nuclear weapons. This may not be achievable for very many years, but we should not be deflected from our aim.  The UK has a role to play in negotiations as a current nuclear power.”

General Lord Guthrie

 

 “Non proliferation and nuclear disarmament are two of the biggest challenges we face in our increasingly complex world. Those with the experience, knowledge and ability to bring about change need to come together to help achieve these twin objectives. We owe it to future generations to tackle them head-on and why it is why I welcome the establishment of the Top Level Group.”

Rt Hon Adam Ingram MP

 

 “In so many ways, the world is a much more dangerous and unstable place than it was in the dark days of the Cold War. The risk of nuclear proliferation makes it essential to see a fresh impetus to multilateral nuclear reductions and a strengthening of the non proliferation regime, and the UK has a valuable role to play in this.”

Lord King of Bridgwater

 

 “Nuclear proliferation in an increasingly globalised world constitutes possibly the greatest threat to mankind ranking alongside environmental and climate insecurities.

Now more than ever, urgent action is needed to counter this threat.”

Rt Hon Dr John Reid MP

 

 “Nuclear weapons are a reality and Britain should not unilaterally disarm. There is, however, a very powerful case for far fewer nuclear weapons in the world and for a determined effort to see whether their complete elimination might be possible at some time in the future. It is an objective worth working towards.”

Rt Hon Sir Malcolm Rifkind MP

 

 “I strongly believe in nuclear deterrence and its role in protecting the peace in the last half of the Twentieth Century.  I also believe that the proliferation of nuclear weapons represents a clear and growing threat to world stability and security. We must work incrementally and multilaterally to reduce the numbers of, and the dependence on, nuclear weapons. This will be neither quick nor easy to accomplish but it is both urgent and necessary in such a fragile and uncertain world.”

Lord Robertson of Port Ellen

 

 “Alongside climate change there is no more urgent issue facing the world and indeed the survival of our fragile and beautiful planet than in disarmament and the avoidance of proliferation. Moving towards the elimination of nuclear weapons will require the mobilization of political will on an unprecedented scale and the all party Top Level Group is a welcome and important first step towards that.” 

Baroness Williams of Crosby