Julie Ward MEP is a peace activist and member of Labour CND Executive Committee. In a recent speech to the European Parliament, she argued:
Prospects of peace between the two Koreas are unexpectedly encouraging. In our support of the talks, we must focus on young people who are essential to any lasting peacebuilding processes. Young Koreans on both sides of the border have different perspectives from their elders and they should be given a voice in the peace talks.
Women also have a crucial role to play when it comes to peacebuilding so involving them in the process is a way to ensure that peace is more sustainable and more inclusive.
I am aware that the process in the Korean peninsula is still fragile. However, I believe that any step forward is good, even a baby step, as it is one-step closer to peace and to nuclear de-escalation. In the current global context, it is hugely important for us to support disarmament campaigns.
It is particularly important that the European Parliament support all efforts at the United Nations level to make the use of nuclear weapons illegal for ALL states under any circumstances.
Total elimination of nuclear weapons should be our objective and we should put all our efforts towards achieving that goal. In that respect I am proud of the work of my office working closely through Parliamentarians for Global Action Network to achieve our historic resolution in October 2016 which gives the High Representative a strong mandate in her dealings with all nuclear-armed states.
Julie Ward is a Labour and Co-operative Party Member of the European Parliament for the North West of England, covering Cumbria, Lancashire, Merseyside, Cheshire and Greater Manchester.