With the mass signing today by all SNP MSPs a clear and cross-party majority of Scottish parliamentarians are now committed to work for the new UN nuclear ban treaty – the Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons 1(TPNW).
At Holyrood all SNP and Green MSPs, plus three Labour MSPs (including leader Richard Leonard), and all of the 35 SNP MPs at Westminster, plus Labour’s Ian Murray, have signed the ICAN Parliamentary Pledge2, which commits signatories “ to work for the signature and ratification of this landmark treaty by our respective countries . “ First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has also signed the Pledge. Today’s signing comes just two weeks before ICAN, the civil society organisation that has worked for the Treaty, will receive the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo3.
The endorsement of and commitment to the TPNW by a majority of Scottish parliamentarians stands in marked contrast to the position of the British government. During the the March Treaty negotiations the UK UN Ambassador Matthew Rycroft told the First Committee at the United nations that the UK had a clear mandate to renew its Trident nuclear weapon system. That appears to be arguable. The decision by so many Scottish parliamentarians to align themselves with a Treaty aimed at the complete elimination of nuclear weapons at the least critically undermines that mandate.
Janet Fenton, Vice-Chair of Scottish CND and active in ICAN since its inception said:
Bill Kidd MSP, Chief Whip of the Scottish Government, commented:
“I am absolutely delighted that every SNP MSP, the First Minister, Cabinet Secretaries and all Ministers, as well as SNP MPs in Westminster, have signed the ICAN Parliamentary Pledge supporting the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. The depth of support that is in Scotland is evident from this significant show of support for the UN Ban Treaty. These signatories are representatives of the Scottish people who stand alongside us in our conviction that nuclear weapons are never moral or justified. I am glad that Scotland, through signing the ICAN Pledge, is taking its place beside the great majority of nations from across the world in supporting the UN Ban Treaty.”
Contact: Janet Fenton 07795594573 Flavia Tudoreanu 0141 357 1529
1Adopted by the UN on 7th July the TPNW prohibits nations from developing, testing, producing, manufacturing, transferring, possessing, stockpiling, using or threatening to use nuclear weapons, or allowing nuclear weapons to be stationed on their territory. It also prohibits them from assisting, encouraging or inducing anyone to engage in any of these activities. Full text at http://www.icanw.org/the-treaty/
2 ICAN Parliamentary Pledge for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons:
We, the undersigned parliamentarians,
warmly welcome the adoption of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons on 7 July 2017 as a significant step towards the realization of a nuclear-weapon-free world.
We share the deep concern expressed in the preamble about the catastrophic humanitarian consequences that would result from any use of nuclear weapons and we recognize the consequent need to eliminate these inhumane and abhorrent weapons.
As parliamentarians, we pledge to work for the signature and ratification of this landmark treaty by our respective countries, as we consider the abolition of nuclear weapons to be a global public good of the highest order and an essential step to promote the security and well-being of all peoples.
3The Prize Ceremony takes place on 10th December in Oslo and over that weekend there will be many parties and other events across Scotland to celebrate the award. Details at https://www.facebook.com/ScrapTrident/