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UK should attend Vienna nuclear weapons conference

Speaking in Parliament this week Mike Gapes pressed the Leader of the House, William Hague for the Government to send a representative to an important international conference.

Mike Gapes (Ilford South) (Lab/Co-op): I draw the attention of the Leader of the House to early-day motion 39 about the Vienna conference on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons.


27 Nov 2014 : Column 1114


[That this House notes the recent governmental conferences on the Humanitarian Consequences of Nuclear Weapons, attended by 127 states in Norway in March 2013 and by 145 states in Mexico in February 2014; welcomes the announcement of a new follow-up conference in Austria in December 2014; further notes the call for UK attendance; and urges the Government to ensure that it is represented at this event in Vienna.]

The United States has recently announced that it will join the 150 countries attending that conference. Will the right hon. Gentleman clarify whether it is the intention of the UK Government to send a representative to Vienna on 8 December?

Mr Hague: As the hon. Gentleman will know very well, it is Foreign and Commonwealth Office questions next Tuesday on 2 December. I spoke for a long time for the Foreign Office, but rather than trying to do so now, I would refer the hon. Gentleman to FCO questions. In previous years we have been reluctant to attend, given various difficulties to do with that particular conference, but I am sure Foreign Office Ministers will be able to answer his question clearly next week.

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