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Thank you to everyone who attended our 2020 Conference and made it such a success even under the constraints of the pandemic!

CND members and group delegates made crucial decisions at our AGM and Policy Conference on Saturday 10th October that will direct our work over the year ahead. You will find details of the resolutions passed at Conference, and the Council members elected, below. CND is a democratically run organisation with an elected leadership — make sure you can have your say by joining CND today!

Our public conference Real security, lessons from the pandemic, held Sunday 18th October and organised by London Region CND, featured incisive discussion and debate about our current situation, and the action we must take to make the world safer for all. Thank you to everyone who joined in on the day, and to our excellent guests Professor Paul Rogers, Mayor of Newham Rokhsana Fiaz, Unison assistant general secretary Roger McKenzie, and Jeremy Corbyn MP.

Resolutions passed at 2020 Policy Conference

Resolution 1, Covid-19 and Trident

Submitted by London Region CND.

  1. CND annual general meeting 2020 notes that Covid- 19 crisis has made it clear, despite the bravery and devotion of staff, how underfunded the NHS and other caring organisations actually are. An important part of the solution to this problem would be to redirect the £205 billion currently committed to creating another set of nuclear weapons for Britain, to the NHS and partner organisations.
  2. Trident is not independent. It is a project aimed at boosting Britain’s weight in international affairs and is dependent on missiles provided by the USA. We urge all peace organisations to unite with CND in calling on our government to redirect these billions to health and welfare projects.

Resolution 2, New Cold War with China

Submitted by Jenny Clegg. Incorporating accepted amendment submitted by Rochdale and Littleborough Peace Group.

CND Conference notes:

  1. US-China relations are deteriorating sharply into a racialised, ideological Cold War with China seen as an existential threat to Western civilisation;
  2. The US maintains a huge encirclement of military bases and an enormous naval and nuclear presence to contain China and undermine its security, whilst issuing increasing threats to its sovereignty.
  3. The situation is becoming highly dangerous
    1. with US withdrawal from arms control treaties to compete with China more freely;
    2. with three US navy carrier groups operating around China, escalating the likelihood of accident leading to war;
  4. Trump is fostering a new global Cold War division; NATO’s chief vows to work even more closely with partners worldwide since China’s rise is ‘fundamentally shifting the global balance of power’, ‘multiplying threats’ and ‘heating up the struggle for supremacy’;
  5. The Tory government is succumbing to US pressure to ‘choose sides’ and plans to send an aircraft carrier battle group to the area early in 2021;
  6. Excessive negative media coverage reinforces racial stereotypes, stoking fears of the ‘China threat’.

CND Conference believes:

  1. The US government’s increasingly aggressive stance towards China constitutes the most serious threat to world peace;
  2. US disengagement with multilateralism and dialogue and anti-China posture presents the main obstacle to successfully tackling the real and serious threats that confront the whole world – climate change, control of pandemics, racist discrimination and economic development; it will prevent efforts to strengthen arms control for a generation; wreck any opportunities to regulate cyber capabilities and anti-space technologies; and may unleash a costly new arms race.

CND Conference resolves to:

  1. Campaign against a New Cold War as well as preparations for war on China in accordance with its priority commitment to the prevention and cessation of wars in which nuclear weapons might be used;
  2. Call on the UK government, all political parties and trade unions, to oppose the doctrine of ‘major power competition’ and support a foreign policy of common security with all nations;
  3. Work with likeminded organisations to bring the issue to the forefront of debate in the international peace movement to build the worldwide opposition.
  4. Conference resolves that CND prepare a briefing plus simple factsheet about the US-led New Cold War and China.

Resolution 3, Disarmament treaties

Submitted by Greater Manchester & District CND.

Bearing in mind President Trump’s dangerous and reckless withdrawal from nuclear disarmament agreements which include:

  • The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty of 1987 as a result of which the USA and the Soviet Union destroyed 2,692 short-, medium- and intermediate- range nuclear missiles in 1991. In 2019 President Trump declared the suspension of US obligations under the Treaty. Russia then followed suit.
  • Withdrawal from The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action known as the Iran Deal by which Iran would have redesigned and converted its nuclear facilities in order to have lifted all the nuclear related economic sanctions freeing up tens of billions of dollars in oil revenues; CND can only view with alarm President Trump’s threat of renewing nuclear testing. This would break the spirit of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. Although the US stalled on ratification of the Treaty, every country in the world has adhered to a global non-testing norm since 1990. Should the US resume testing, in whatever form, It will put pressure on Russian, China and others to resume or start nuclear weapons testing.

CND Conference resolves to:

  1. Demand that the government and the main political parties condemn the US actions on disarmament.
  2. Prepare a new briefing on nuclear weapons testing.
  3. Raise the issue with Parliamentary CND.

Resolution 4, Militarisation of space

Submitted by Yorkshire CND.

CND Conference notes:

  1. Donald Trump has announced that the US must achieve ‘dominance in space’ and that space domination is ‘America’s destiny’.
  2. The US Space Force has been established to take warfighting into space and to integrate tracking, surveillance and sensing systems with US nuclear forces.
  3. The 2019 US ‘Missile Defense Review’ advocated the placing of interceptors, which can also be used as first- strike missiles, in space.
  4. In April, President Trump signed an executive order to formally recognise the rights of private companies to claim resources in space.
  5. These actions are in direct contradiction the 1967 Outer Space Treaty and are a clear indication that the US no longer views space as a ‘global commons’ but as a region for colonialization and exploitation.
  6. The UK government has made it very clear that it also views space as a warfighting domain and is creating a number of space hubs in Scotland, England and Wales from which to launch mini satellites from – some of which will have a military role.

CND Conference believes:

  1. The possibility of a war in space constitutes a huge threat to international security – even now the malfunctioning of a vital satellite at a time of international tension could have catastrophic consequences.
  2. Developing military Space Forces to fight wars in space and on the ground is a serious threat to world peace and must be prevented.

CND Conference resolves to:

  1. Continue to campaign against the militarisation of space and draw attention to the US bases in the UK such as Fylingdales, Menwith Hill and Croughton, that operate as important centres for the US military activities including missile defense and drone wars.
  2. Continue to support the Global Network’s “Keep Space for Peace” week in October.
  3. Call on the UK government to work to save and strengthen the Outer Space Treaty and reinstate the concept of space as the province of all humankind.

Resolution 5, Covid-19 and Defence Diversification

Submitted by London Region CND.

CND Conference notes:

  1. Britain’s nuclear weapons do not protect us from the real threats this country faces, identified by the National Security Risk Assessment and incorporated in the Strategic Defence and Security Review of 2015;
  2. These threats include health pandemics as well as terrorism and cyber-attack;
  3. The Covid-19 crisis has further demonstrated the weakness of the UK manufacturing sector and the need to shift the UK’s skill base away from military contractors and towards sustainable manufacturing;
  4. In response to the crisis, defence contractors such as Babcock, Airbus, Rolls Royce, and BAE Systems have participated in the Ventilator Challenge UK Consortium to make ventilators for the NHS; and
  5. an unanticipated consequence of the Consortium has been to demonstrate the real possibilities for diverting military manufacture towards renewable, sustainable, and socially useful production.

This AGM believes it’s time to campaign within the labour movement for the implementation of motion 17 passed by the 2018 Trades Union Congress and backed by Unite the union, to establish a Shadow Defence Diversification Agency, and calls on the incoming CND officers and National Council to draw up plans to do so.

Resolution 6, Defence Diversification

Submitted by Labour CND.

CND Conference notes:

  1. The Covid-19 crisis has highlighted the versatility and creativity of British manufacturing industry. Several arms companies – including a number involved in nuclear weapons production – were members of the consortium VentilatorChallengeUK which manufactured over 13,000 ventilators. Workers at the Barrow shipyard, where BAE Systems is building the Dreadnought submarines, were put to work on producing medical equipment.

CND Conference believes:

  1. The UK must now start to redefine the type of economy it wishes to build in a post-Covid world
  2. That in no area of British industry will this be more important than in defence.
  3. Defence diversification must be at the heart of our work as we build for the future.

CND Conference resolves:

  1. To engage with all interested parties across civic society to lay down a blueprint for a future Defence Diversification Agency.
  2. To continue to call for the Labour Party to implement TUC policy that it, as the official opposition, should establish a Shadow Defence Diversification Agency

Resolution 7, New nuclear power stations

Submitted by Rochdale and Littleborough Peace Group.

As part of its plans for ‘new nuclear build’ the government is planning a new nuclear power plant in Suffolk – Sizewell C. This drive for new nuclear reactors makes no sense, whether it be on financial grounds, energy supplies, dangers from explosions, protection of the environment, or present and future problems of storing radioactive waste.

CND Conference notes:

  1. As seen in Kate Brown’s book, ‘Manual for Survival’ and the film ‘Chernobyl’, the health and economic effects of that nuclear accident were catastrophic.
  2. We are already seeing the effects of climate change in the UK. With rising sea levels, nuclear reactors built on the coast will be vulnerable to flooding.
  3. The cost of building nuclear reactors is exorbitant; the money would be better used on developing renewable energy
  4. With political commitment and investment, renewable energy could supply the UK’s needs.
  5. The number of jobs created at nuclear reactors is exceeded by those created for sustainable energy.
  6. At a time of decreasing biodiversity, the building of Sizewell C would destroy a Site of Scientific Interest which should be protected, a fragile coast environment and areas of outstanding natural beauty.
  7. The current plans from EDF indicate that nuclear waste would be stored on Suffolk’s eroding coastline.

Conference therefore resolves:

  1. To urge members to support ‘Together Against Sizewell C’ and contact their own MPs to ask that the project is abandoned.
  2. To urge members to join in, wherever possible, Non- violent Direct action against Sizewell C or other new nuclear plants.
  3. That CND write to the appropriate Minister to express our concerns.

Resolution 8, Methodist Central Hall meeting July 2021

Submitted by Christian CND.

Christian CND are excited to announce that Methodist Central Hall, a prime faith-based London venue with long associations with the United Nations, has generously agreed to host a major meeting on the afternoon of Monday July 12th 2021, to mark the 4th anniversary of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and Christian CND’s own 60th anniversary.

The meeting will be inclusive, with speakers and audience both religious and secular; Faith groups, including Christians, have played a significant part in work towards nuclear disarmament over the past decades as part of the mobilisation of civil society. Public meetings of this kind are important for raising the profile of our issue and in reaching a new audience.

CND Conference resolves to:

Encourage supporters to attend the event at Methodist Central Hall and that the office will continue to offer practical support and expertise as needed by Christian CND in the organising of the meeting.

Resolution 9, Youth engagement

Submitted by Tom Cuthbert, St Albans CND, East Midlands CND.

CND Conference notes:

  1. The international recognition of climate crisis protestors like Greta Thunberg and Extinction Rebellion with a distinct focus on younger people whose futures are blighted by species extinction, deforestation, melting ice caps, rising sea levels, carbon dioxide pollution, extreme rainfall in some regions and drought in others – to name just some consequences.
  2. A generational difference in global values which pits young concern for future climate crisis against the interests of fossil fuel industries (including uranium) represented by aging, politicians sceptical of climate crisis prepared to abandon the Paris Agreement of 2015,and wage genocidal wars to defend their economic advantage.
  3. Younger people face a multitude of issues growing up in the UK, 4 million are living in poverty now, that figure is predicted to rise in 2020. Billions of pounds overspent on the UK’s weapons of mass destruction are in effect an economic crime against the welfare of young people, with the present UK government borrowing heavily to avert another existential threat in the global pandemic.
  4. A real campaigning advantage in the encouragement of awareness and free speech of a young generation opposing Trident’s replacement with the challenge of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference in 2021 and progress on the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, begun in 2017.

CND Conference resolves to:

  1. Extend an invitation to young people of school age in the UK from CND members, to specifically campaign for anti-nuclear action and commentary, believing that the risk of nuclear threats represents a real risk to the future lives, prosperity and peace of this generation.
  2. Promote petitions, videos, questionnaires, artworks, banners, placards, dance routines, all means of creative expression made by young people themselves to oppose nuclear threats and disarm nuclear weapons.
  3. Make explanation available to young people of the treaties mentioned in conference note 4 above promoting international peace and justice, in leaflets, meetings and videos.
  4. Build the opposition of young people to the opportunity costs of alliances sponsoring the threat of nuclear weapons, Trident Replacement and UK government activities incompatible with international law.

Emergency resolution on Israel, Palestine and a nuclear-free Middle East

Submitted by CND Cymru

The so-called “peace agreement” between the US, Israel and the UAE will only increase conflict in the Middle East, provide the incentive for nuclear proliferation and is a clear abandonment of international law and the rights of the Palestinians.

Conference notes that:

  • the US have withdrawn from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action ( the Iran nuclear agreement), promoting the conditions for nuclear proliferation.
  • Israel is not party to the NPT, whilst also being a state in possession of nuclear weapons.
  • the UAE has opened the first nuclear power plant in the Arab world, with Saudi Arabia and Egypt also looking to adopt nuclear power.

Conference resolves to hold a conference, as soon as we are able, on Peace in the Middle East, to promote:

  • a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East
  • a review of the NPT and the role of nuclear power and nuclear weapons in the Middle East
  • the ways to promote peace in the region
  • discussion of the lessons learned by the world from the conflict in the Middle East.

Officers and Council members elected at 2020 AGM

Please note that CND Council has many more members, mostly representing CND nations, regions, areas and specialist sections. Those listed below were directly elected by CND members and group delegates at CND Conference. For more information and a complete list of current members of CND Council, please visit this page about CND’s structure.

Officers

Chair: Dave Webb
Vice-Chairs: Daniel Blaney, Carol Turner, Tom Unterrainer
Treasurer: Linda Hugl
Company Secretary: Annie Tunnicliffe

Directly elected Council members

Sophie Bolt, Jenny Clegg, Roslyn Cook, David Cullen, Tom Cuthbert, Philip Gilligan, Anna Liddle, Sam Mason, Murad Qureshi, Mark Soames, Tony Staunton, Hannah Tweddell, Julie Ward, Rebecca Warren, and Katy West.