Report back from CND Conference and AGM : Building our alliances to scrap trident.
Attended By Jonathan Wallis
Saturday CND AGM And Policy conference -12th October 2013.
Address by the Lord Mayor of Liverpool.Cllr Gary Millar
Elections of Officer posts-passed (1 in reserve)
All council members re-elected.
Annual Report accepted, congratulations to all activists who worked on the campaign over the year.
Constitutional Amenedent carried- Green Party specilaist section created..
Treasurer's report and questions.
Policy resolutions agreed at CND Conference 2013
societya) Conference notes that:
i. the policies adopted by the party or parties that form the next government in 2015 will be crucial to the outcome of the debate and vote on Trident replacement in 2016.
ii. since the current coalition government came to power in 2010, it has been internally conflicted over the question of Trident, with the Lib Dems retaining their opposition to a like-for-like Trident replacement while the Conservatives have advocated a full replacement. Many within the Lib Dems would like to see the party’s position changing to a full scrap Trident position.
iii. Labour, having introduced the White Paper calling for replacement in 2006, has been having internal discussions on Trident policy, with a forceful case being made for scrapping Trident and cancelling its replacement.
iv. polls consistently show that a majority of the population opposes Trident yet this position does not currently find full expression in the policies of any major party. However, shifts in attitude are taking place within all the parties, and across the whole spectrum of , with a clear break down of the status quo with regard to Britain’s nuclear weapons possession.
v. the economic situation that society faces, together with an increasing understanding of the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons, opens the way for further cooperation across civil society to put pressure on parties for change.
vi. the next eighteen months are absolutely crucial to turning around Britain’s nuclear policy and the context for bringing that about has never been so favourable.
b) Conference resolves to:
i. work to change political parties’ policy on Trident through networks of members, supporters, constituents and activists using all opportunities presented by party policy processes, parliamentary activity, constituency lobbying, media and social media.
ii. work to further shift public opinion through grass roots activity, rebuilding and extending our civil society alliances with faith communities, trade unions, anti-cuts campaigns, anti-poverty organisations and others.
iii. support a further Scrap Trident tour in spring 2014 with a focus on engaging with faith communities, anti-poverty and humanitarian organisations.
iv. work to build support for a broad anti-Trident statement that can win prominent signatories from across British society in the run up to 2016.
2) Missile Defence
a) Conference notes that:
i. the US continues to pursue ‘full spectrum dominance’ by increasing its military activities in space;
ii. the north of Sweden is being used by NATO as a military practice ground and to test and develop new killing technologies such as drones;
iii. the US has helped establish a satellite ground station in the Svalbard islands in Norway which violates the Svalbard Treaty requiring the archipelago not be used for military purposes;
iv. President Obama has increased the US deployment of missile defence bases in Europe which have been
linked with those of NATO;
v. the deployment of space, ground and sea based missile defence components by the US and NATO is
undermining international stability and putting further agreements on nuclear disarmament at risk;
vi. the Fylingdales radar in North Yorkshire is part of the US and NATO system;
vii. the US spy base at Menwith Hill plays a leading role in US intelligence led warfare, providing
information such as that used for targeting killer drones and is set to become a relay station for US space
based missile defence components;
viii. the US “Asian pivot”, sending missile defence warships to the Pacific and the construction of support
bases there (such as that destroying the village of Gangjeong on Jeju Island), is dramatically increasing
b) Conference resolves to:
i. circulate widely an updated Missile Defence Briefing and other related materials to highlight the above
ii. create a web-based animation that explains missile defence, the militarisation of space and the roles of
Fylingdales and Menwith Hill;
iii. continue to support the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space and Keep Space
for Peace week and efforts to close missile defence bases in the UK;
iv. help distribute copies of the Yorkshire CND report 'Lifting the Lid on Menwith Hill' which describes
the role of the base in some detail.
3) Proliferation and Diplomacy
a) CND believes that:
i. the confrontations with the DPRK (North Korea) and Iran over their advancing nuclear programmes
have reached a critical time;
ii. the failure to make substantial diplomatic progress in the near future will increase risks of military action,
and mean that more states in both regions are likely to turn to nuclear weapons development;
iii. peaceful diplomatic solutions to both situations have long been available;
iv. whilst all sides in negotiations have a responsibility to make these work, it is understandable, though
especially saddening in the case of the DPRK's nuclear testing, that, since being described as members of
the "axis of evil", both states have felt the need at times to respond defiantly to nuclear and military
v. the US and allies' practices of stop-go talks, prolonged stalemates, punitive sanctions, setting "redlines"
backed by military and nuclear threats, is counterproductive to diplomacy, fostering mistrust, increasing
the risks of miscalculation and driving rather than restricting proliferation;
vi. the pursuit of "regime change" is extremely dangerous since the point at which a regime is about to
topple is precisely the point at which WMD are most likely to be used;
vii. complete global nuclear disarmament is the only ultimate solution.
b) Conference therefore calls urgently on the government to:
i. recognise the complete failure of a hostile approach to nuclear non-proliferation and to adopt a new
approach which recognises the security concerns of all;
ii. take immediate measures to de-escalate tensions and oppose military and nuclear threats;
iii. cease punitive sanctions damaging to peoples' livelihoods;
iv. promote sustained and sincere dialogue without preconditions, offering guarantees of non-aggression
aimed at regional settlements for a WMD-free Middle East and North East Asia;
v. use its influential position to persuade other negotiators, especially the US, to do the same;
c) Conference further resolves that CND will:
i. rally MPs, through Parliamentary CND, to this call for peaceful diplomacy;
ii. publish information to counter arguments about such "evolving threats" which are used continually and
hypocritically to justify the holding nuclear weapons "for generations to come".
4) Perpetual War & Trident:
a) Conference notes:
i. the speech in May 2013 by the US President at the National Defense University in Washington DC, calling for the United States to end its current state of perpetual war.
b) Conference believes:
i. that the British government should make this same commitment to the British people.
ii. that intrinsic to this state of perpetual war is our use of nuclear weapons to confront the rest of humanity, thereby making hostages of entire populations by the threat of mass destruction.
c) Conference resolves to strongly urge the British government to conform to the wishes of the majority of the British people and drop its preparations for nuclear war, by:
i. cancelling the Trident renewal programme;
ii. dismantling its nuclear weapons;
iii. undertaking never to build these weapons of mass destruction again.
5) Modern Warfare, Law & Ethics
a) Conference notes that:
i. Technological developments in modern weaponry have outpaced ethical and legal frameworks established last century for the conduct of war;
ii. The ‘war on terror’ has redefined the concept of war from ‘armed conflict between nation states’ by conflating armed individuals or groups with enemy armies, undermining the integrity of national sovereignty;
iii. The prospect of ‘lethal autonomous robotics’ poses a threat to international stability and raises profound questions of justice, accountability, war crimes, human rights and civil liberties;
iv. The ability to deploy drones at relatively little political or economic cost domestically encourages a dangerous propensity to military intervention, escalating tensions and increasing the danger of nuclear proliferation. Their use blurs the distinction between war and state execution, and normalises arbitrary assassinations without public scrutiny;
v. Because their destructive power cannot be contained the threat or use of nuclear weapons violates international law and treaty obligations.
b) Conference is concerned that:
i. Revelations of mass surveillance show intelligence agencies in the UK and US are out of control, bypassing their own national laws as legislation is overtaken by advanced information technology, endangering liberty, pluralism and democracy.
ii. The rule of law is a fundamental principle of civilised society and respect for the rule of law is an essential prerequisite of international order, which our government is undermining secretly in the name of national security.
c) Conference resolves to:
i. Engage in debate on modernisation of UN and international law to encompass the new reality of a globalised world and runaway technological development.
ii. Articulate the legal and moral case against ownership and deployment of these weapons and develop strategies to mount legal challenges to governments, corporations and individuals for breaches of international law and treaty obligations in both national and international courts.
iii. Cooperate with campaigns to protect human rights and civil liberties, including the right to protest.
iv. Provide briefings and support for local campaigning groups and activists on legal and ethical issues.
Evening Cheese and Wine -and National Tour of ICAN (International campaign against Nuclear Weapons) -Ban The BOMB Tour
Sunday 13th October Working With Workshops
Panel Debate on Political perspectives on Scrapping Trident-with Chair Kate Hudson, Vice Chair Politician for Labour Jeremy Corbyn,Peter Craine Green, Cllr Richard Kemp LIberal Democrat
Guest Speaker-Mayor of Gangjeong Village on Jeju Island South Korea
worling with Parliamentarians-Jeremy Corbyn
Young people and Students- Miriam Dobson and Elva Lynch Bathgate
Working with Faith Communities-Chris Howson- I attended , talked about links with faith groups, interfaith groups, putting it on agendas e.g with Bishops, being involved with Interfaith groups.
Campaigning in Nuclear hotspots.
the afternoon workshops were
Working with Trade Unions
campaigning through social media- ia lso attended this, I had some further tips regarding twitter and facebook.
and working with campaigning organisiations
there was time for feedback., before close of conference.