Jan 09. Foreign Affairs Committee
GLOBAL SECURITY: NON-PROLIFERATION
ANNOUNCEMENT OF FURTHER ORAL EVIDENCE SESSION
Wednesday 28 January 2009
The Committee will hold its Fourth evidence session in its inquiry into Global Security: Non-Proliferation on Wednesday 28 January at 2.30 pm. The session will focus on conventional weapons.
As part of its overall inquiry into Global Security, the 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, biological and conventional weapons. It will also consider the role of ballistic missiles.
Wednesday 28 January 2009
Dr Dan Plesch, Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy, School of Oriental and African Studies
Roy Isbister, UK Working Group on Arms
At approximately 3.30pm
Mr David Hayes, Export Group on Aerospace and Defence (EGAD)
The meeting will take place in the Grimond Room, Portcullis House.
Lords Hansard text for 28 Jan 2009
Asked by The Earl of Sandwich: To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have assessed the non-military risks and benefits of the Afghan Social Outreach Program and its effect on rural development projects and local governance. [HL498]
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown):
Risk management has been an important aspect of the development of the Afghan
Social Outreach Program (ASOP), and a process which the UK has been involved in.
Non-military risks and benefits have been identified, including the need to have close co-ordination with other government ministries to avoid overlaps. The community councils established under ASOP are designed to fill a hole in local governance left after the postponement of district council elections scheduled to take place in 2005. It is intended that community councils will cease to exist once democratically elected district councils are established in 2010. In insecure areas, ASOP forms a significant step toward improvements in local governance, by offering communities a means to present priorities and concerns to government. Rural development projects will not be adversely affected by ASOP councils, as these offer a single forum for prioritisation and co-ordination.
Asked by Lord Dykes: To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will consider the United Kingdom’s military presence in Afghanistan in light of the number of service personnel killed there. [HL844]
Lord Malloch-Brown: It is vital to the UK that Afghanistan once more becomes a stable and secure state, able to suppress violent extremism within its borders therefore contributing to wider regional security. Britain’s own security is at risk if we allow Afghanistan to become a safe haven for terrorists.UK forces, along with 41 other contributing nations, are in Afghanistan at the invitation of the democratically elected Afghan Government, with the support of the vast majority of Afghans and at the request of the United Nations. The reason we are there is to establish the right security environment in which accountable and effective institutions can develop and where Afghan-led reconstruction and development can be established. Our Armed Forces in Afghanistan consistently perform their duties with bravery, commitment and professionalism. They have a difficult job to do and the progress they have made is a credit to their proficiency and dedication. However, that progress has come at a high cost, including loss of life. Every military casualty is a tragedy and our condolences go to the families of the men and women killed in Afghanistan. We have no illusions about the challenges posed by those who oppose central government rule. But we have the right strategy for delivering success, and members of our Armed Forces are resolute in doing what their coun