4 May 2005: for immediate release

As the Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference begins the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament has called for “disarmament to be put back at the heart of the NPT” and for the UK to deliver on its NPT obligations and not replace Trident. The US’s statement to the NPT Review Conference on Monday focused on Iran and North Korea and counter-proliferation measures. Whilst, according to reports, the UK government, despite its commitment under the NPT, has already decided on a replacement for Trident, the UK’s nuclear weapons system. CND has charged both countries with “hypocrisy” for “focusing attention away from their own immense arsenals and warmongering first strike policies.”

The Non-Proliferation Treaty opened for signature in 1968, and entered into force in 1970. More countries have ratified the NPT than any other arms limitation and disarmament agreement, a testament to the Treaty’s significance. At the 2000 NPT Review Conference the UK and the four other declared nuclear weapons states signed a final document in which they gave an ‘unequivocal undertaking to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals’, one of 13 agreed steps for the systematic and complete elimination of nuclear weapons.

Kate Hudson, Chair of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, said,
“The PM has made the decision to replace Trident behind closed doors. He should be ashamed. It confirms our worst fears. This is another example of how you cannot trust Tony Blair. This month is the NPT Conference. This international treaty is crucial to disarmament and the global desire to rid the world of nuclear weapons. By replacing Trident and undermining the NPT, the UK is behaving like a rogue state, and is following the US down the dangerous road of proliferation.

The nuclear weapons states should be working towards abolition, as they are legally obliged to do. Instead, they are focusing attention away from their own immense arsenals and warmongering first strike policies. In doing so they are attempting to use the NPT and the non-proliferation framework as justification for their aggressive foreign policy objectives. The US’s statement to the NPT conference makes clear that their focus is on the so-called axis of evil. With one illegal war already waged against Iraq the focus has turned to Iran and North Korea. We are calling for disarmament to be put back at the heart of the NPT and for an end to this nuclear hypocrisy.”

CND held a packed fringe meeting at the Non- Proliferation Treaty Conference on Monday, titled ‘Rejecting the logic of counter-proliferation’ in which speakers from the UK, France, US and Japan were united in their call for peace and abolition now.

Jenny Jones, representing the Mayor of London in the Mayors for Peace delegation, spoke at CND’s meeting and accused the US and UK governments of “attempting to turn the NPT into a document that legalises the nuclear states’ nuclear weapons” she continued “people want peace, we don’t want the threat of nuclear war hanging over us.”


Notes to Editor:
1. For further information and interviews please contact Ruth Tanner CND’s Press & Communications Officer on +44 (0)7968 420859
2.The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) is one of Europe’s biggest single-issue peace campaigns, with over 32,000 members in the UK. CND campaigns for the abolition of all nuclear weapons everywhere.