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08/04/2010
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Global issues

Weapons proliferation

The spread of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) poses a threat to the UK and the international community. Increasingly, terrorists and criminal networks are trying to acquire these weapons. We're working around the world to promote and implement our policies on nuclear weapons, chemical and biological weapons, conventional weapons, export controls and ambition for an arms trade treaty.

Missiles are displayed at the war museum, AFP/Getty Images

Historic US-Russia agreement on arms reduction

The Foreign Secretary welcomed the landmark agreement between US President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty.

An anti-tank cluster bomb waits to be loaded aboard the USS Kearsarge in the Adriatic Sea, March 1999. MIKE NELSON/AFP/Getty Images

UK ban cluster bombs

A UK Bill banning the use, production and stockpiling of cluster munitions came into immediate effect on Thursday 25 March.

Working towards an ATT, FCO Images

Arms Trade Treaty

UN members have voted in favour of forming an Arms Trade Treaty. Negotiations on its terms begin in 2010.

Chemical and biological weapons


Singapore Armed Forces CBRE defense group soldiers during the Pacific Shield 2007, AFP/Getty Images

We're working to enforce the ban on chemical and biological weapons through international treaties and conventions

Nuclear weapons

Missile launch

The UK is working to lead international efforts on nuclear disarmament

Controlling the export of weapons

Trainee holsters his pistol for a live-fire anti-piracy exercise in Israel, Getty Images

We're working to improve the international standard of export controls for weapons

Arms Trade Treaty (ATT)

Pledges on a board during an Arms Trade Treaty event at the FCO, 15 June 2009.

The UK supports a global Arms Trade Treaty ATT to curb the irresponsible trade and transfer of arms

Conventional weapons

Unexploded bombs in Lebanon, AFP/Getty Images

We're working closely with other countries and international organisations such as the UN to develop an arms trade treaty

Cluster munitions

An anti-tank cluster bomb waits to be loaded aboard the USS Kearsarge in the Adriatic Sea, March 1999. MIKE NELSON/AFP/Getty Images

Unexploded ordnance from cluster munitions threaten the lives of civilians

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Latest news

  • UK welcomes 'historic' US-Russia agreement on arms reduction
    26 March 2010, 11:16 PDT
    The Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, has welcomed the landmark agreement reached by US President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on the successor to the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START).
  • Cluster bombs banned by the UK
    25 March 2010, 05:14 PDT
    A Bill banning the use, production and stockpiling of cluster munitions will come into immediate effect today. The step by the UK increases momentum for a global ban on cluster munitions.
  • Ivan Lewis participates in nuclear issues web-chat
    23 March 2010, 03:13 PDT
    Foreign Office Minister Ivan Lewis answered questions in a live web-chat today on Iran, arms reduction in Russia and mini-nuclear reactors.
  • Students debate nuclear issues with Foreign Office
    16 March 2010, 07:10 PDT
    In a joint event, members of the UNA-UK youth wing joined a panel including Foreign Office Minister Ivan Lewis, BASIC Executive Director Paul Ingram and UNA-UK Chair Lord Hannay of Chiswick to discuss nuclear challenges in the 21st century.
  • Ivan Lewis marks 40th anniversary of the NPT
    5 March 2010, 08:52 PST
    "The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty remains a vital cornerstone in international efforts to build a world free from nuclear weapons".