Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UN Security Council – Monday 2 November 2009

Mr. Dai Davies (Blaenau Gwent, Independent): To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 22 October 2009, Official Report, column 1627, on the UN Security Council, if he will (a) publish the web location of the statement released after the September 2009 meeting of the five permanent members of the Security Council, (b) post on his Department’s website the presentations on enhancing strategic stability referred to in the Answer and (c) publish a list of those who attended the meeting and their official positions.

Mr. Ivan Lewis (Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office): The P5 (Russia, China, the US, the UK and France) agreed that the conference held on 3 to 4 September 2009 to consider the confidence building, verification and compliance challenges associated with achieving further progress on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation would be held behind closed doors to facilitate full and frank discussion.

UN Security Council – Thursday 22 October 2009

Mr. Dai Davies (Blaenau Gwent, Independent): To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will publish the papers submitted by the Government to the meeting of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council held in London on 3 and 4 September.

Mr. Ivan Lewis (Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office): The UK conference of considered confidence building, verification and compliance challenges associated with achieving further progress on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. The conference was the first time that senior policy makers, military officials and technical experts from the five permanent members of the UN Security Council (P5) had met to discuss such issues. The P5 agreed that the conference would be held behind closed doors to facilitate full and frank discussion. The P5 issued a statement summarising the discussions after the conference.

United Nations: Meetings – Thursday 22 October 2009

Mr. Dai Davies (Blaenau Gwent, Independent): To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what matters were discussed at the meeting of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council in London on 3 and 4 September 2009; and what agreements were reached?

Mr. Ivan Lewis (Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office): The UK hosted a conference of senior policy makers, military officials and technical experts from the P5 (Russia, China, the US, the UK and France) on 3-4 September 2009 to consider the confidence building, verification and compliance challenges associated with achieving further progress on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.

The discussions covered, ways to increase mutual understanding by sharing definitions of nuclear terminology and information about nuclear doctrines and capabilities; presentations on enhancing strategic stability; ways to build mutual confidence through voluntary transparency; and the international challenges associated with responding to nuclear accidents. The P5 undertook to consider ways to co-operate to address these challenges, and released a statement after the meeting.

USA: Nuclear Weapons – Wednesday 21 October 2009

Andrew Rosindell (Shadow Minister – Home Affairs, Conservative): To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the US administration on methods by which the international stockpile of nuclear weapons may be reduced.

Mr. Ivan Lewis (Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office): President Barack Obama’s engagement and leadership on nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament have intensified our already close counter-proliferation co-operation with the US.

My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton regularly discuss these issues, in particular the Iran nuclear case which requires regular close high-level engagement. The US values the UK’s contribution.

President Obama warmly welcomed the UK’s “Road to 2010” blueprint on nuclear non-proliferation launched by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on 16 July 2009 and Secretary of State Clinton gave strong praise to the UK’s ideas leadership in the run-up to last month’s historic UN Security Council Summit chaired by President Bill Clinton.

Non-Proliferation Treaty – Tuesday 20 October 2009

Tony Lloyd (Manchester Central, Labour): To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with his US counterpart on the 2010 non-proliferation treaty review conference.

Mr. Ivan Lewis (Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office): My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary discusses the 2010 NPT Review Conference regularly with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Mrs. Clinton said on 11 October 2009 after their most recent meeting that British leadership had been pivotal in the run up to the historic Security Council session on nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament chaired by President Barack Obama on 24 September 2009.

USA: Nuclear Weapons – Monday 19 October 2009

Andrew Rosindell (Shadow Minister – Home Affairs, Conservative): To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the US administration on the international threat of nuclear proliferation.

Mr. Ivan Lewis (Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office): My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary discusses nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regularly with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and did so most recently on 11 October 2009. Mrs. Clinton said after that meeting that British leadership had been pivotal in the run up to the historic UN Security Council session on nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament chaired by President Barack Obama. The Council unanimously adopted UN resolution 1887 that affirmed its commitment to work toward a world without nuclear weapons.

Nuclear Weapons – Wednesday 9 September 2009

Nick Harvey (North Devon, Liberal Democrat): To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what means he has considered to achieving the abolition of nuclear weapons.

Mr. Ivan Lewis (Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office): The Government are committed to a world free of nuclear weapons and is actively working towards achieving this goal. My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister set out his vision in ‘The Road to 2010 – Addressing the Nuclear Question in the Twenty First Century’ earlier this month. In this he outlined a three stage process to enable progress towards this goal. This involves:

Transparency and control: reducing expansion of nuclear weapon capabilities and enhancing transparency of existing and future capabilities.

Arms reduction: addressing the challenges and mechanisms through which further multilateral disarmament can occur.

Steps to zero: creating the security conditions and overcoming technical difficulties related to disarmament.

We remain fully committed to the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty as the best vehicle for achieving this goal.

Nuclear Weapons: Arms Control – Monday 1 July 2009

Joan Walley (Stoke-on-Trent North, Labour): To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs who will produce the Government’s Road to 2010 Plan for the 2010 Non-Proliferation Treaty Review conference; what items will be included in the plan; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Ivan Lewis (Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office): The Road to 2010 plan is a cross-departmental effort that is co-ordinated by the Cabinet Office. As outlined in my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister’s speech at Lancaster House on 17 March 2009, the plan will set out proposals in the following areas:

The safe expansion of Civil Nuclear in the UK and globally;

Fissile Material Security and Nuclear Counter-Terrorism;

Disarmament and non-proliferation; and,

The role and development of the International Atomic Energy Agency and other international institutions.

Arms Control: Nuclear Weapons – Tuesday 1 June 2009

Joan Walley (Stoke-on-Trent North, Labour): To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his policy is on the proposals of the US delegation to the preparatory committee for the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty review conference in New York on 5 May 2009 in respect of a fissile material cut-off treaty.

Bill Rammell (Minister of State, Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Labour): We welcome the proposals made by the US delegation at this year’s Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Preparatory Committee in support of a fissile material cut-off treaty (FMCT).

The UK believes that an FMCT is essential for multilateral nuclear disarmament, and is one of the six steps that my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary identified as necessary in order to achieve the conditions needed to help achieve a world free of nuclear weapons at the launch of the ‘Lifting the nuclear shadow’ policy information paper on 4 February 2009.

It is our hope that the Conference on Disarmament will soon adopt a Programme of Work which will include the start of negotiations on an FMCT.

USA: Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference – Wednesday 20 May 2009

Mr. Dai Davies (Blaenau Gwent, Independent): To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will publish the written material (a) produced for and (b) obtained by his Department at the Preparatory Committee meeting for the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference in New York; and which Ministers and officials attended that Conference.

Caroline Flint (Minister of State (Europe), Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Labour): This year’s Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) achieved a great deal, including agreeing an agenda for the 2010 Review Conference by consensus for the first time in 15 years. It was attended by a broad UK delegation headed by John Duncan, Ambassador for Arms Control and Disarmament. The delegation included officials from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), Ministry of Defence, Department of Energy and Climate Change and our mission to the Conference on Disarmament, as well as an academic adviser.

Written documents agreed at the PrepCom are already in the public domain see:

http://www.un.org/disarmament/WMD/Nuclear/NPT2010Prepcom/PrepCom2009/index.html

and the FCO does not intend to publish any internal documents which were written or obtained by our delegation. However, as promised in the Prime Minister’s 17 March 2009 speech, we will publish a “Road to 2010” plan this year.

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