HC Deb 21 April 1988 vol 131 c535W
Mr. Galbraith

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will give the reasons why the United Kingdom delegation to the United Nations Special Session on disarmament does not, as in 1978 and 1982, include a member of a non-governmental organisation; and if he will make it his policy to reconsider the position.

Mr. Mellor

There now exists a wider range of nongovernmental organisations taking an interest in arms control issues than at the time of the first and second United Nations Special Sessions on Disarmament. Not all these groups share the same views on arms control and disarmament issues. We do not think it would be possible for a member of any one non-governmental organisation to be able to represent the views of all such groups. It would be invidious to try to make such a choice.

We recognise the need for liaison between the United Kingdom delegation and the non-governmental organisations attending the Special Session. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office disarmament adviser, David Summerhayes, will carry out this task. His experience as leader of the United Kingdom delegation to UNSSD II and his contact with the whole range of NGO opinion in this country are particularly relevant to his task.