Press Release 31st May 2019 – for immediate use
At a Council meeting this week West Dunbartonshire approved a resolution supporting the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), noting the catastrophic global effects of any use of nuclear weapons and deploring the transporting of the UK’s nuclear warheads on local roads.
The resolution1 was moved by Councillor Ian Dickson, who said:
“We have clearly demonstrated our concerns, for our safety, health, environment, the global food chain, for future generations and their cultural inheritance. West Dunbartonshire doesn’t need or want these Nukes of Hazard passing through our local areas. These weapons of mass destruction are travelling far too close for comfort to our homes, schools, and workplaces and this motion reasserts that they are not wanted on our soil in West Dunbartonshire.”
The Council also passed a resolution relating to the climate emergency and calling on the Strathclyde Pension Fund (which handles pensions for the local authorities which replaced Strathclyde Regional Council) to divest from fossil fuels and also from nuclear weapons.
The TPNW2, adopted at the UN in 2017 by overwhelming vote is expected to enter into force in 2020, when the necessary fifty states have ratified it.
West Dunbartonshire is the third UK jurisdiction to support the TPNW, after Manchester and Renfrewshire, and follows a rapidly developing worldwide trend for cities, states and council areas to express their alignment with the Treaty, including Paris, Toronto, Geneva, Washington DC, Sidney and Berlin, plus two US states, California and New Jersey.3
Janet Fenton, ICAN’s Scottish liaison, said:
“West Dumbartonshire joining other Scottish Councils in support for the UN Treaty to prohibit Nuclear Weapons shows how Scotland can contribute to the safer saner world that the the majority of countries around the world are working for. The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) Partners across the world are happy to see that Scottish cities as well as Scottish parliamentarians say “No nukes here – or anywhere.”
This is more than a gesture. It is a significant step in solidarity with those worldwide who are threatened by the nuclear-armed states. As the pressure for divestment shows, this is about practical moves to align with the Treaty. We would encourage all Scottish local authorities and cities to follow West Dunbartonshire’s example.”
Contact: Janet Fenton 07795 594573
1Full text of resolution:
“Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
West Dunbartonshire Council is deeply concerned about the grave threat that nuclear weapons pose to communities throughout the world. We firmly believe that our residents have the right to live in a world free from this threat. Any use of nuclear weapons, whether deliberate or accidental, would have catastrophic, far-reaching and long-lasting consequences for people and the environment. Council fully supports the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) as one of the most effective ways to bring about long-term and verifiable nuclear disarmament and reaffirms our commitment to West Dunbartonshire’s designation as a Nuclear Free Zone. To this end council asserts its opposition to the illegal transportation of nuclear weapons on our roads and rail networks on moral and safety grounds. Council instructs the Leader of the Council to write to the UK Government to inform them of this resolution and urge them to take account of it.”