The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament welcomed today’s decision to move the hands on the nuclear ‘doomsday clock’ back from five to six minutes to midnight. The symbolic clock, charting the relative dangers of nuclear annihilation is controlled by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists and has only been re-set 19 times since its inception in 1947.

Kate Hudson, Chair of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, said “This shift reflects the significant improvement since the end of the Bush era. Both Presidents Obama and Medvedev are committed to nuclear abolition and have put the issue firmly at the centre of the international political agenda. From the aggressive escalation of the Bush years we have seen a significant change in the US administration’s approach to nuclear weapons. Now almost all states are pushing in a more sane direction.

“The progress towards major US/Russian reductions in warheads is creating an improved international climate ahead of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference in May – but now we need to translate aspirations into results. We need the Nuclear Weapons States to grasp this window of opportunity, commit to major reductions in warhead numbers and begin immediate negotiations on a Nuclear Weapons Convention. This would ban nukes in the way that chemical and biological weapons are successfully outlawed.

“As the third oldest nuclear state Britain can play a major role in taking us back from the nuclear brink. If the UK scraps Trident replacement, the hands on the Doomsday Clock will doubtless move back further. Britain needs to live up to its legal commitment to disarm, which it first made in signing the NPT over 41 years ago. Our government is still arguing that nuclear weapons are essential for our national security, but they actually make us less secure, encouraging other countries to come to the same view and develop their own nukes. Down that road lies unrestrained nuclear proliferation and increasingly inevitable nuclear war.”