On Monday 18th February campaigners from the Trident Ploughshares Peaton Peace Pirates affinity group will visit the consulates or other representatives of four of the “P5” nuclear-armed states to ask them to engage urgently in diplomatic moves to defuse what the protesters see as the current critically dangerous situation.
Visits will be made to the US, French and Chinese consulates, and to the Scotland Office as the representative office of the British state. The visits are a follow-up to a letter sent last week to the offices requesting a meeting. The Russian Consul-General has agreed a meeting later in the week and so his office will not be visited on Monday.
David Mackenzie said:
“Our message will be simple and we will be peacefully assertive in getting it across. The risks are real. The consequences of nuclear conflict will be utterly horrific. Start talking to each other now. Begin to engage with the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. It’s the end of nukes or the end of us. Along with the threat of catastrophic climate breakdown this emergency requires a constructive global engagement. In the case of the risk of nuclear war the new TPNW provides the ideal platform for that process.
We believe that the risk of global nuclear war is at present very serious. There is the underlying and constant risk of catastrophic error within complex delegation and computerised systems. Also in the background is the current and ongoing modernisation and sophistication of the weapons – a real arms race – as well as the danger from non-state actors and fragile governments worldwide. Right now there are the signs (including the collapse of the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty – the INF) that what arms control measures we have had are crumbling away amid criminally reckless posturing.”
a.m. Scotland Office (UK), 1 Melville Crescent, EH3 7HW
a.m. French Consulate, Lothian Chambers, West Parliament Square, EH1
p.m. US Consulate, 3 Regent Terrace, EH7 5BW
p.m. Chinese Consulate, 55 Corstorphine Road, EH12 5QG
I am writing to respectfully advise that we will call to your consulate on the 18th February, at the time noted below, to discuss our deep concerns about the current lack of peaceful diplomacy offered by member states of the UN Security Council to the world order. Instead, all of them are upgrading and modernising their nuclear arsenals. Coupled with recent US and Russian statements on the 1987 bilateral agreement to limit the deployment of nuclear weapons (Intermediate-Range Forces Treaty, or INF) the Security Council is showing reckless disregard for the safety of the planet and all life on it.
The INF is a bilateral treaty, but we consider that it is the responsibility of the Security Council at the UN to ensure that states commit to the rules-based regime that is supported by civil society across the world. This regime is fundamental in keeping global citizens safe, and for intergovernmental disputes to be subject to scrutiny and resolved without the use of force.
The majority of member states wish to prohibit and eliminate these weapons; many non-governmental organisations share that view, and further consider that the Security Council member states are putting the future of both our planet and children at risk with this retrograde step.
All the Security Council member states should join the 70 states which have signed the UN’s 2017 Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. This is the course of action to which all of the Security Council should be committed if they are serious about multilateral disarmament, as they repeatedly say that they are.
The INF Treaty was agreed when films such as The War Game, Threads, and The Day After were instrumental in making the horrific reality of nuclear weapons apparent to the world’s people, who then put their governments under enormous public pressure. Reagan and Gorbachev were deeply affected by The Day After, which became a catalyst in their agreeing the INF. Now, we need more than reversible arms control — we need discussions leading to all nuclear armed states joining the TPNW. For this reason, we also request the consul’s attendance at a screening of The War Game on the 18th February at 8.00pm at 6/1 Glenallan Drive, Edinburgh EH16 5QX.This invitation is extended to the local US, China, Russian, French consulates in Edinburgh and the Scotland Office of the UK Government.
We look forward to seeing you at the consulate on the 18th at the time indicated.
Please RSVP to this email address
Janet Fenton, David Mackenzie, Jean Oliver, Douglas Shaw and Jamie Watson
Peace Pirates Affinity Group, Trident Ploughshares