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Robson Urges Re-Think On Nuclear Plans

12 March 2002

“Nuclear weapons must be left in the 20th century. We cannot allow them to become the weapon of choice for the 21st century,” says Disarmament minister Matt Robson.

“For that reason I urge the government of the United States to reject any pressure to walk away fom their commitment to nuclear disarmament.”

Matt Robson, the world’s only Minister for disarmament and arms control, was responding to media reports of a leaked US government document, Nuclear Posture Review.

The report was shared with Congress in January 2002, and is said to include proposals for new types of nuclear weapons suited to new targets such as Iraq, Iran and North Korea.

It appears to call for a new role for nuclear weapons.

The key international treaty promoting nuclear disarmament is the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The United States, like the other four nuclear weapon states (China, France, Russia and the UK) are signitories. In return for being allowed to keep their nuclear weapons for the moment, these states have made a committment to work for nuclear disarmament.

“If the recommendations in this leaked report were taken up by the Bush administration, it would throw the disarmament agenda internationally into disarray.

“Next week, wearing my minister of aid hat, I will be attending the Financing for Development conference in Mexico.

“I intend to raise the issue of expenditure on massive military programms, including nuclear weaponry, which too often come at the expense of money spent on poverty reduction in hot-spots in the world like Afghanistan.

Ends

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