Press Release: Office of Jean Lambert MEP

29th June 2006

 

Green MEP Calls For Sustainable Development Not Nuclear Weapons

Green MEP Jean Lambert is one of several high profile figures speaking at a major national conference organised by Leicester CND and the Indian Workers Association, at Moat Community College, 1 July Leicester, on questions of nuclear weapons, peace and development in South Asia.
Following the critical comments of Trevor Phillips of the Commission for Racial Equality about ethnic separation, in a recent visit to Leicester, the Conference is significant for ethnic relations in the city. Aside from co-operating closely in organising the conference, CND and IWA have chosen to highlight issues of world politics and human development in South Asia, a region with which many people in the city retain strong links.

The recent USA-India nuclear co-operation has again raised debate on whether South Asian countries like India and Pakistan with major problems of development, can afford multi-million dollar programmes on expensive armaments and weapons of terror. For many commentators, the priority should rather be to tackle the major issues of poverty.

Jean Lambert, who has recently visited India as part of a delegation for the European Parliament said: "The people of India and Pakistan desperately need sustainable economic development. They do not need more money spent on nuclear weapons. They also need good relations with neighbouring countries to enable this peaceful development."

She warned: "The Cold War maybe over but nuclear weapons are an ongoing danger. People have got used to thinking the nuclear threat is over, but the more aggressive stance of the current USA government is destabilising delicate regional relationships in many parts of the world. The recent agreement on nuclear technologies between the USA and India is threatening to have this effect in South Asia.


"We need universal nuclear disarmament, which stops any debate about a replacement for Trident, Britain's nuclear weapons system. The effects of a world free of nuclear weapons and the social benefits cannot be underestimated", Jean concluded.


ENDS


For more information please contact:
Morwenna Holland, Media Officer
tel: 020 7407 6280 or 07813149812
email: media@jeanlambertmep.org.uk
www.jeanlambertmep.org.uk

Notes to editors:
Jean Lambert: In October 2005 Jean was named MEP 2005 for Justice and Human Rights. Jean was first elected Green Party Member of the European Parliament for London in the 1999 European elections. She was re-elected in 2004. She is one of nine MEPs representing London and one of two UK Green representatives in the European Parliament.
Almost 40 percent of the world's malnourished children live in India, compared to 26 percent in sub-Saharan Africa, according to a World Bank report. (Malnutrition Causes Heavy Economic Losses, Contributes to Half of All Child Deaths, But Can Be Prevented-New World Bank Report. See website: http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/NEWS/)

Conference details:
Nuclear Nightmare or Atoms for Peace? Nuclear Weapons & Global Power in S Asia (2)
Saturday 1st July, 10am to 4.30pm Moat Community College, Maidstone Road, Leicester
Entry donation includes an Indian Veggie Lunch.
For more information Tel (0116) 225 0133 or Email: richard.johnson6@ntlworld.com
Conference location map: www.moat.leicester.sch.uk; five minutes walk from Leicester Rail Station to Moat Community College on Maidstone Rd.
Conference seminars and speakers include:
· Imperialism and nuclear weapons: the Indian Experience - Avtar Sadiq (IWA (GB))
· US influence, power and Star Wars - Kate Hudson (CND National Chair)
· The Dragon the Elephant and the Eagle: South Asian Transformations in a Multi-polar World - Keith Bennett (ex-Editor Asian Times)
· Gender, nationalism and militarism in S Asia - Amrit Wilson, (on behalf of S Asia Solidarity Group).
Excepts of Anand Patwardhan's film: 'Father, Son & Holy War'
· British foreign policy in S Asia and Trident connection - Jeremy Corbyn MP
· Nuclear weapons or not? - 4 South Asian High Commissions (invited). Plenary session chaired by Sir Peter Soulsby MP

Workshops include:
· Defending Iran? Iran's nuclear ambitions in the South Asian Context? Navid Shomali, Tudeh Party of Iran
· Countering US dominance: the Chinese alternative & its implications for South Asia Jenny Clegg, National CND Council and Keith Bennett, former Editor Asian Times
· Nuclear weapons, the religious right and the Indian state Amrit Wilson
· The World Social Forum (Karachi) and nuclear issues - Jeremy Corbyn MP
· A Green Perspective: Sustainable development not nuclear weapons - Jean Lambert, MEP
· Faith and nuclear weapons: A Discussion - Jenny Mattingley, (Leicester Society of Friends); Manjula Sood (Leicester City Councillor); Mr AK Gheewala (Chair, Federation of Muslim Organisations)
· US Missile Defence in the Asia-Pacific Region - Friend or Foe? - Dr Stuart Parkinson, Scientists for Social Responsibility
· Peace, Anti-Racism and Campaigning against Trident - There is no 'enemy within', Mike Hindley CND, ex MEP