CND welcomes new START treaty

describing it as "positive first step on the road to a nuclear-free future".

Kate Hudson, Chair of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, said "This is a very significant day and a positive first step on the road to a nuclear-free future. The cut-backs are welcome but their real significance is in building the trust that can open the way to further rounds of cuts. World leaders must now build on this momentum, tackling nukes already kept in deep storage and bringing the other nuclear weapon states into the process. With both Obama’s Nuclear Security Summit next week and the review of the Non-Proliferation Treaty in May, this is a timely advance which must be developed to the full."

She continued, "Britain has its role to play too. Gordon Brown has said that ‘as soon as it becomes useful for our arsenal to be included in a broader negotiation, Britain stands ready to participate and to act’ – now is that time [see note 3]. Were Britain to put Trident on the negotiating table at the NPT Review Conference this could be a real game-changer. Scrapping the ruinously expensive Trident and any replacement would put pressure on France and China to consider parallel cuts.

"It is a year this week since Obama committed the US to building a world free of nuclear weapons. Today’s agreement is just the sort of concrete step needed to achieve that goal, but we will need to see many more such steps before the world is released from the threat of nuclear doomsday. All nuclear weapon states, Britain included, must show their commitment to Obama’s worthy aim and push for the biggest strides possible at the forthcoming summit meetings. As the President has noted, this is exactly what the five long-established nuclear powers committed to when they signed the NPT, which came into force 40 years ago last month."

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