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APPG on Global Security and Non-Proliferation to Close After 24 Years

The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Global Security and Non-Proliferation has formally closed its doors after 24 years of operations in the British Parliament.

The APPG was the leading cross-party group of parliamentarians and peers from the UK Houses of Commons and Lords, providing timely and detailed information on pressing global security issues. 

In recent years, the Group convened regular meetings about progress to reduce WMD risks and advance the nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons arms control and disarmament agendas; British defence, security and foreign policy strategy; non-proliferation concerns such as those relating to Iran and North Korea; and emerging and disruptive technologies such as swarming drones.

BASIC has provided the Clerk for the APPG since its formal establishment in January 2000, chaired then by Malcolm Savidge MP. For nearly two decades, expert clerking for the group was provided by Lorna Richardson, a veteran of the Greenham Common Peace Camp. More recently, this role was fulfilled by the clerks Maxwell Downman, Rishi Paul, Emily Enright, Anuradha Damale-Day, and Anahita Parsa.

The APPG’s very first meeting ‘Non-Proliferation at Risk’, in March 2000, featured front-bench Parliamentary spokespeople from the three main parties, Dr. Scilla Elworthy of the Oxford Research Group, and the film actor-producer and U.N. Ambassador for Peace,  Michael Douglas.

In its earlier years, the APPG also organised transatlantic visits for Parliamentarians from the UK and US, to develop their understanding of Anglo-American defence and security cooperation. It has been a regular collaborator with other APPGs including those on Drones, Future Generations, and the United Nations.

Despite the closure of this group, BASIC and the APPG’s Officers and Members consider that greater Parliamentary attention to international security affairs is needed more than ever. 

The breakdown in international relations between the West and Russia, the weakening of relations with China, concerns relating to the proliferation of nuclear weapons amongst both US adversaries and allies, and the present atrocities being perpetrated in the Middle East demand an informed Parliamentary community with a strong and active voice of foreign and security policy.

Notwithstanding the closure of the APPG, BASIC will continue to engage with existing parliamentarians, and especially new MPs entering Parliament after the election later this year, through other Parliamentary structures and events. We continue to welcome collaboration from partner organisations in order to maximise our reach and impact.

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