Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer spoke in a motion marking International Women’s Day in the House of Lords on the links between women and peace.
“Nuclear weapons, including our own Trident system, specifically target civilians; they target cities and women and children as a so-called deterrent. I will use my time today to ask the Minister whether there is a correlation between the lack of women involved and the fact that not only have nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament talks largely stalled, but we are now likely to be heading into a new nuclear arms race. That truly terrifying prospect was highlighted by the noble Lord, Lord Howell of Guildford, when he talked of the evidence that the International Relations Committee had heard that,
“we were on the verge of a terrifying new arms race and the possible spread of tactical nuclear weapons, and that the limits on nuclear warfare that the world has hung on to since Hiroshima are now slipping away and could leave our cities in smoking ruins”.—[Official Report, 27/2/19; col. 253.]
Your Lordships will remember that back in 2000 the UN passed Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security, to encourage greater female representation on disarmament bodies. That has not happened to the degree that was hoped for then. One of the women to see this first hand is the United Nations High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, Her Excellency Ms Izumi Nakamitsu. As frequently the only woman at high-level talks, she says: “More perspectives could help to find new approaches to break stalemate”.