The United Nations will convene negotiations in 2017 on “a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination”. This new international agreement will place nuclear weapons on the same legal footing as other weapons of mass destruction, such as chemical and biological weapons, which have already been outlawed.
The negotiations will take place at UN headquarters in New York from 27 to 31 March and from 15 June to 7 July 2017, with the participation of governments, international organizations and civil society representatives.
During the first session, states will outline their views on what the treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons should contain and how it will relate to humanitarian law and other instruments governing nuclear weapons and other kinds of indiscriminate weapons.
International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear weapons (ICAN) plans to have a large delegation of campaigners present for both negotiating sessions. They will urge all governments to work in good faith to achieve the strongest, most effective treaty possible.
Scottish CND is a partner organisation of ICAN and we intend to send a strong delegation to these discussions.
At the March session Scotland will be represented by four civil society participants, including Bill Kidd MSP on behalf of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament.
Scotland is also trying to obtain observer status for the July negotiations.