Thursday, June 28, 2007

British disarmament initiative

Outgoing UK Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett writes in today’s Jerusalem Post:

"Mine is a generation that has always lived under the shadow of the bomb. But there is a danger in familiarity with something so terrible. If we allow our efforts on disarmament to slacken, if we allow ourselves to take the non-proliferation consensus for granted, the nuclear shadow that hangs over us will lengthen and it will deepen. It may, one day, blot out the light for good. We cannot allow that to happen."
Likening the effort to abolish nuclear weapons to William Wilberforce’s efforts to abolish slavery and suggesting that the United Kingdom should become a “disarmament laboratory” and:

“…concentrate on the complex but pivotal challenge of creating a robust, trusted and effective system of verification that does not give away national security or proliferation sensitive information.”
This op-ed highlights a major policy address in the same vein given at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace International Nonproliferation Conference on Monday.

Foreign Secretary Beckett’s replacement, former Environment Minister David Miliband, has already been named by Prime Minister Gordon Brown. But those familiar with Mr. Brown’s record as a leading advocate and agenda setter for ethical change in response to global poverty have much reason to hope that this bold new initiative is only the beginning of a newly strengthened British voice for effectively verified global nonproliferation and prudent progress toward a world free of nuclear weapons.

For now, jolly good show, Madame Secretary.

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