PN 38 (Session 2007-08)
14 July 2008
ANNOUNCEMENT OF NEW INQUIRY
GLOBAL SECURITY: NON-PROLIFERATION
The Foreign Affairs Committee today announced a new inquiry with the following terms of reference:
The Foreign Affairs Committee will examine the work of the British Government in working towards the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's policy goal on countering weapons proliferation and its causes. The Committee will consider the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. It will also consider the role of ballistic missiles.
In particular, the inquiry will examine:
The British Government's non-proliferation approach, as set out in the National Security Strategy;
The effectiveness of the current rules-based international system in curbing current weapons proliferation;
The potential merit of forthcoming diplomatic initiatives on non-proliferation, for instance the 2010 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference.
The role of arms control and disarmament, including nuclear disarmament, in non-proliferation efforts.
Initial submissions of written evidence are requested by not later than Monday 29 September.
Guide to submitting written evidence
Written evidence should contain, if appropriate, a brief introduction to the persons or organisations submitting it (perhaps stating their area of expertise, etc.), and any factual information they have to offer from which the Committee might be able to draw conclusions (or which could be put to other witnesses for their reactions). It is also helpful to include any recommendations for action by the Government or others which the witnesses would like the Committee to consider for inclusion in its report to the House.
There are no rules about the form written evidence should take; what follows is simply guidance based on what Committees have found useful in the past. If written evidence is very brief, it can be sent as a letter, but otherwise it is helpful for the evidence to be in the form of a self-contained memorandum, with any request to give oral evidence, etc., in a covering letter. If longer than one page, memoranda should have numbered paragraphs (if a memorandum is later printed, page numbers will change, so it is helpful to be able to refer to paragraph numbers). If long, a memorandum should include a one-page summary of the main points, and a table of contents.
If witnesses wish the whole, or part, of their evidence to remain confidential to the Committee, they should state this clearly in their covering letter, giving reasons and, if necessary, discussing the matter with the Clerk. The decision on whether to accede to that request is a matter for the Committee itself.
Supplementary material (leaflets, articles from periodicals, etc.) may also be sent, but it is helpful if the memorandum itself is self-contained (summarising the main points made in the supplementary material if necessary). This is because material published elsewhere is not usually reprinted by Committees.
The preferred form of submission is by e-mail attachment to the Committee's mailbox address (email@example.com). It should be in MS Word or Rich Text format; this makes it easier should the Committee decide to print the memorandum, and produces more accurate copy . Memoranda can also be submitted on a disk. If a memorandum is submitted by e-mail, a letter should also be sent validating the e-mail.
Once written evidence has been sent in, it is for the Committee to decide the manner and timing of its publication. However, the Committee has agreed that witnesses may publish their own written evidence before it is published with the Report. Witnesses intending to do this should first contact the Clerk of the Committee.
Members of the press with enquiries should contact Alex Paterson, Select Committee Media Officer, on 020 7219 1589, or 07917 488488, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
1. The Foreign Affairs Committee is responsible for scrutinising the "expenditure, administration and policy" of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and its associated agencies. The text of all Committee publications, including Reports, can be found on the Committee's website at www.parliament.uk/facom
2. Committee meetings are open to the public. Access is via St Stephen's Entrance for the House of Commons Committee Rooms and the main entrance on the Thames Embankment for Portcullis House Rooms. It is advisable to allow about 10 minutes to pass through security checks. There is no system for the prior reservation of seats in the Committee Rooms.
The membership of the Committee is as follows: Mike Gapes (Chairman), Labour, Rt Hon Sir Menzies Campbell, Liberal Democrats, Mr Fabian Hamilton, Labour, Rt Hon David Heathcoat-Amory, Conservative, Mr John Horam, Conservative, Mr Eric Illsley, Labour, Mr Paul Keetch, Liberal Democrats, Andrew Mackinlay, Labour, Mr Malcolm Moss, Conservative, Sandra Osborne, Labour, Mr Greg Pope, Labour, Mr Ken Purchase, Labour, Rt Hon Sir John Stanley, Conservative, Ms Gisela Stuart, Labour
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