Evidence of government multilateral disarmament gestures?

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23 October 2008 Hansard

*Column 476W*
*Michael Ancram* (Devizes, Conservative)To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps the Government is taking to promote multilateral nuclear disarmament.

*John Hutton* (Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence; Barrow & Furness, Labour) |The UK plays an active role in all international fora and treaties related to multilateral nuclear disarmament. In particular, we are working to reinforce and strengthen the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty. We are pressing for the start of negotiation without pre-conditions in the Conference on Disarmament on a Fissile Material Cut-Off treaty and we continue to call all on all States that have not yet ratified the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty to do so, especially those nine for which entry into force is required.

We are also playing a leading and innovative role in several new initiatives. Along with Norway and the non-governmental organisation VERTIC, we are undertaking research into possible technologies which may be of potential use in any future multilateral disarmament treaty or regime. We have offered to host a confidence building and technical conference between the five Nuclear Weapon States to discuss the issues surrounding multilateral nuclear disarmament. We have co-sponsored a major report by the International Institute for Strategic Studies on the technical and political requirements for a world free of nuclear weapons published in August 2008.