Peace in war-torn areas of the world such as Syria, Libya and South Sudan cannot be achieved by bombing campaigns, Emily Thornberry has declared. The shadow foreign secretary issued the warning as she addressed Labour's annual conference in Liverpool this morning (26 September).
"We look at Rwanda, when we look at Colombia, when we look here at home, at Northern Ireland, never let anyone say that: 'It's all too difficult' and 'nothing can be done'," she said.
"In Israel and Palestine there are enough progressive people on all sides to shift the debate away from extreme and entrenched positions towards a lasting peace.
"And in South Sudan, in Libya, in Yemen– even in Syria, however faraway it seems now – peace is not impossible. But it will never be achieved – peace is never achieved – by dropping bombs from 30,000 feet."
Thornberry, a long-time unilateralist, also broke with leader and fellow anti-nuclear bomb campaigner Jeremy Corbyn to announce that a future Labour government would "revive talks" on multilateral nuclear disarmament.
"We all know how irresponsible it would be to ignore the problem of climate change, allow it to get worse, and leave our children and grand-children to worry about the consequences," she said.
"So why don't we say the same about nuclear weapons which have the power to destroy the world we live in within minutes, not just over decades?
"So a future Labour government will not just revive talks on multilateral nuclear disarmament among the world's great powers, we will make the success of those talks the test of our success on foreign policy."
Thornberry is leading the party's long-awaited defence policy review, which includes the UK's nuclear deterrent, Trident.
The deadline for submissions to the consultation closed in May, but the probe was pushed back after the UK voted to leave the EU.
MPs backed the £31bn ($40bn) renewal of Trident 472 to 117 in May, with just 47 Labour MPs voting against the upgrade. Labour affiliated trade unions Unite and GMB, which represent thousands of defence workers, back Trident renewal.