Last week, Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn asked me to rejoin the Front Bench as Shadow Minister for Peace and Disarmament and I was pleased to accept his invitation. I will be a part of both the Shadow Foreign Affairs and Defence teams.
The role is unusual because no such post exists in government, but the Labour Leader has made peace and disarmament one of his major international priorities – and I also believe these are important aims, especially given what is happening in so many parts of the world today.
Part of my responsibilities will be to try and participate in the United Nations multilateral disarmament meetings which take place regularly at the UN in New York. At present, the UK Conservative government does not attend these meetings and I believe that the Labour opposition can fill that vacuum, with the help of our Foreign Office officials.
I will also be covering the countries of North Africa (the Maghreb) and the Middle East, but not Israel/Palestine, policy towards which will be led by the Shadow Foreign Secretary, Emily Thornberry. I will lead on all the other conflict areas in the region, such as Syria, Iraq and Yemen.
This is a major new position which I hope will show that Labour is strongly committed to helping reduce the violence, war and conflict in the world which shatters and destroys so many innocent lives every day. I will be working to help reduce the flow of arms which inevitably feeds the death and destruction we see too much of on our television screens, and which also is a major cause of the massive flows of refugees worldwide.
The Labour Party must be a force for good not only in our country but throughout the world. My new job is going to be a huge challenge – and is certainly going to keep me busy – but we have to believe that conflict is not inevitable and that humanity does not have to suffer because a small minority says it must be so. The only future for the human race is for all of us to try and live in peace with each other, whatever our perceived differences. Working for a better, more peaceful future is our only option and I intend to do all I can to achieve that seemingly impossible aim.
Posted 4:52 PM | Permalink