Country: United Kingdom
Delegate Name: Camille Gerville-Reache
The complexity surrounding nuclear weapon possession has stalled disarmament agreements, especially when considering the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). While a nuclear-free world is ideal, in the current day, ideal is all that it remains to be. The practical implications are farther reaching due to violence in Eastern Europe and tensions elsewhere. Nuclear weapons are and have ended up in the wrong hands, and possession from opposing countries, such as the United Kingdom, is the only deterrent from their use. Nevertheless, nuclear arms and development should be monitored carefully, and methods such as transparency, risk reductions, and safeguards should all be considered in the nuclear debate. A nuclear-free society is the larger goal, and the steps to bring about that future are necessary but tedious.
The United Kingdom is one of five nuclear weapons states that signed the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). Weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons, should not be spread in the long-run. The UK applauds the decrease in nuclear armaments from 60,000 to 13,400 since the Cold War. However, the UK has not ratified the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) due to its contradictions with NPT and practical implications with current global conflicts. In recent years, the UK has increased its arms by 40% as a cost-efficient method to offset security risks posed by emerging nuclear states and nuclear terrorism. The country’s position as a deterrent protects many vulnerable countries and populations. While UK citizens are largely in favor of the TPNW and decreasing nuclear arms, and the population’s position will be taken into account, the UK will maintain its defensive position until certain threats fade.
Despite recent developments, the UK is still committed to global nuclear arms reduction for a peaceful future. The only path to that future is through multilateral disarmament, negotiated through the NPT’s framework. Nuclear testing should be decreased in accordance with the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, prevention of internal unauthorized use and development of nuclear weapons should be maintained, and the promotion of diplomacy should remain to prevent military altercations. When working closely with NATO allies and fellow committee members, the UK hopes transparency and safeguards will be of the utmost importance during current and future talks.