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Nuclear policy in Europe and the role of NATO: Lords continues to take evidence for nuclear non-proliferation inquiry

As part of its ongoing inquiry into ‘the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and nuclear disarmament', the House of Lords International Relations Committee will hear from witnesses from the Fondation pour la Recherche Stratégique, the Austrian Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs and NATO, on Wednesday 6 February.

The Committee launched the inquiry because nuclear weapons are on the international agenda in a way they have not been since the end of the Cold War with rising tensions between nuclear-armed states and due to the fragmenting of existing non-proliferation and arms control agreements. The inquiry is examining the state of global nuclear diplomacy and the United Kingdom's role in it. 

Appearing at 10.40am will be:

  • Professor François Heisbourg, Senior Adviser for Europe, International Institute for Stategic Studies and Special Adviser, Fondation pour la Recherche Stratégique
  • Ambassador Alexander Kmentt, former Director for Disarmament, Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, Austrian Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs 

Questions are likely to include: 

  • How would you assess the current level of nuclear risk, and in particular, what does this mean for Europe?
  • Can you please explain the recent developments in your respective countries' (France and Austria) nuclear policies?
  • To what extent is it fair to say that the UK is the most restrained of the nuclear powers?

Appearing at 11:40am will be:

  • Jessica Cox, Director of Nuclear Policy, NATO

Questions are likely to include:

  • Several witnesses have told us that the level of nuclear risk is at its highest point in recent memory. Do you agree with this assessment?
  • What is NATO's role in nuclear deterrence and in nuclear risk reduction?
  • How would you assess the UK's contribution to NATO's nuclear policy?

The session will begin at 10.40am in Committee Room 4, House of Lords. 

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