Over 50 MPs have signed a Commons motion in support of this weekend’s Global Summit for a Nuclear Weapon Free World, hosted by CND to mark its 50th anniversary [text in note 2]. This will bring together figures from across the spectrum. Sergio Duarte, the UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs will be speaking, as will President Clinton’s nuclear advisor Thomas Graham, now working with Henry Kissinger to promote new disarmament talks. CND is also welcoming campaigners from across the world, including Bianca Jagger, together with leading activists from Israel, Indian, Pakistan, the US, France and elsewhere. The Summit will also hear from a survivor from the Hiroshima atom bomb.
The Summit, held this Saturday and Sunday in London’s City Hall and opened by Mayor Ken Livingstone, is set to be the most significant international conference on nuclear disarmament since the end of the Cold War. It will draw together leading diplomatic, scientific and policy experts with anti-nuclear activists from around the world. In two days of plenary and working group discussions, they will focus on creating the conditions for abolishing nuclear weapons, with the aim of promoting negotiations on a Nuclear Weapons Convention, which would outlaw nuclear weapons as chemical and biological weapons have been outlawed.
Government representatives have been invited and the conference outcomes will be communicated to the Prime Minister and his advisor on nuclear proliferation, Shirley Williams. Over the last month both the Prime Minister and the Defence Secretary have focussed on the need for renewed efforts at achieving reductions in global nuclear stockpiles.
Interviews with speakers are available between Friday and Monday and include:
Ambassador Sergio Duarte, UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs
Bianca Jagger, Council of Europe Goodwill Ambassador and Chair of World Future Council
Ambassador Abdul Minty, former nuclear state South Africa’s representative to the IAEA
Ambassador (Ret) Thomas Graham, Chairman, Bipartisan Security Group, working with Kissinger
Commander Robert Green, Royal Navy, (Ret)
Bruce Kent, Vice-President CND
Mikiso Iwasa, Hiroshima bomb survivor
Merev Datan, Israel
Zia Mian, Pakistan
Achin Vanaik, India
Kate Hudson, Chair of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, said, “As part of the events marking the 50th anniversary of CND, the Global Summit will bring together delegates from across the globe with the aim of laying the groundwork towards negotiating a global ban on these terrible weapons. To some that may be a distant dream, but it was exactly this kind of vision that allowed the ban on landmines to be rapidly negotiated several years ago.”
She continued: “This weekend, exactly half a century since Bertrand Russell and others addressed our founding meeting, will help bring us closer to the day when governments begin substantive negotiations on a Nuclear Weapons Convention.”
Date: Saturday and Sunday 16-17 February 2008
Venue: City Hall, London
Access: Please apply for a media pass from Ben Soffa, CND Press Officer on email@example.com
Interviews: Selected guests, including keynote speakers will be available for interview on and around the days of the conference.
CND supporters, amongst them survivors from the Hiroshima bomb, will also be gathering at the Atomic Weapons Establishment at Aldermaston on Easter Monday, 24th March for a mass protest on the half-century anniversary of the first march to Aldermaston.
Notes to Editors:
1. For further information and interviews please contact Ben Soffa, CND’s Press Officer, on 0207 7002350 or 07968 4208592. 54 MPs have signed EDM 892 which reads: “That this House notes the 50th anniversary of the founding meeting of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament on 17th February 1958; supports the campaign’s ongoing work to achieve worldwide nuclear disarmament; congratulates the campaign for convening the Global Summit for a Nuclear Weapon Free World on 16th and 17th February 2008, drawing together leading diplomatic, scientific and policy experts, including Ambassador Sergio Duarte, chair of the 2005 Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference; and calls on the Government to re-focus on creating the conditions for abolishing nuclear weapons, including facilitating negotiations on achieving a Nuclear Weapons Convention, additionally, 100 MPs have signed EDM72 calling for a Nuclear Weapons Convention
3. The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) is one of Europe’s biggest single-issue peace campaigns, with over 35,000 members in the UK. CND campaigns for the abolition of all nuclear weapons everywhere.