Green Party co-leader Caroline Lucas has launched a scathing attack on the Conservative government. And she didn’t mince her words, as she tore them to shreds over their failure to attend a major UN summit on nuclear disarmament.
Ban the bomb? We couldn’t possibly…
In October 2016, UN member states voted to begin negotiations on a treaty to ban nuclear weapons. There was strong opposition to the treaty from nuclear-weaponised countries like the UK, Israel, France, and their allies. But the vote went in favour of talks, by 123 to 38, with 16 countries abstaining.
There was a UN meeting in February to discuss the planned treaty. But it has emerged that the UK government didn’t send a representative. And Caroline Lucas has called that decision “reckless and irresponsible”.
Her response came about through a parliamentary question she submitted. The Foreign Office also revealed that it would not be sending anyone to a further meeting later in March. Lucas slammed the government, saying it was being “massively hypocritical”:
I don’t think it’s taking nuclear disarmament seriously and it’s hugely reckless and irresponsible… Now there’s [an] opportunity to have a multinational set of negotiations and they’re not even bothering to turn up. I just think it’s mind blowing.
Essentially what such a major global moment does is to help delegitimise the weapons… that can’t be underestimated. So although clearly we’re not going to have the nuclear weapons states signing up by June, the very existence of that treaty will make it more likely that those countries that have them will begin to negotiate to get rid of them.
The government’s response, however, was hardly satisfactory. Sir Alan Duncan, the Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, said:
The UK did not participate [in] the organisational meeting on negotiating a treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons on 16 February and will not attend the substantive negotiations starting on 27 March. We do not believe these negotiations will lead to effective progress on nuclear disarmament. The best way to achieve this goal is through gradual multilateral disarmament negotiated using a step-by-step approach and within existing international frameworks.
The definition of insanity?
In total, nine countries possess about 15,000 warheads between them. The other countries on the planet, meanwhile, don’t have any. And yet these nuclear ‘powers’ and their allies see fit to essentially hold the whole world to ransom.
If the UK government is not even willing to discuss possible disarmament, a nuclear-free future is looking less and less like a possibility.
– Support The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN).
– Contact your MP if you disagree with the UK keeping its nuclear weapons.
Featured image via Flickr
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?