The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament warmly welcomes the disarmament goals agreed by Presidents Obama and Medvedev in Moscow today. They plan to conclude a new treaty before the expiry of the START agreement in December which would reduce deployed warhead numbers to between 1,500 and 1,675 compared to the current agreement of between 1,700 and 2,200 warheads each. The agreement is to include the verification measures lacking from recent arms reduction deals which are increasingly necessary as warhead numbers are reduced.

Kate Hudson, Chair of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, said “Today’s announcement marks significant progress towards a new and very necessary arms reduction treaty between the powers which hold 90% of all nuclear weapons. This is a ‘good start’ on the path towards Barack Obama’s ultimate goal of the abolition of all nuclear weapons, towards which Britain too must show it is prepared to take concrete disarmament steps.  This draft plan also sets out a framework which could be taken forward as a model for drawing in other nuclear states. This includes the verification measures which are vital to ensuring trust as stockpiles are reduced. Removing the vast weapons legacy of the Cold War is also key to meeting the challenges of a world with a growing number of nuclear-armed states. As President Obama said, reducing the arsenals of established nuclear powers is a vital to efforts to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons.”

“Obama’s message is clear: that the US and Russia cannot show leadership in combating proliferation without also leading the way on disarmament. This is a message to which Gordon Brown should pay heed. The planned £76bn replacement of Britain’s Trident system cuts against the ever-strengthening trend of world opinion and has been cited by countries such as Iran in seeking to justify their own developments. Today’s agreement aims to reduce delivery systems by a third, yet Britain plans to maintain its fleet of four submarines – the same posture it has held since the 60s. Instead of signing initial contracts behind closed-doors in September, Brown should immediately put Trident replacement on hold and begin a full Review of the issue.”

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