Media

A case for nuclear disarmament this Easter – Yorkshire Post Letters

In news from Trident Ploughshares, read a letter from Sylvia Boyes in the Yorkshire Evening Post references the TPNW and points out that

“We cannot escape from the fact that the nuclear threat is real and growing. Kathleen Lonsdale, a committed Quaker and pacifist, said at the beginning of the nuclear age: “The real horror is not that we may be bombed but that we should ever think 
of using the bomb on anyone else.”

At this Easter time particularly, the moral imperative for nuclear disarmament is absolute.

https://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/opinion/letters/a-case-for-nuclear-disarmament-this-easter-yorkshire-post-letters-3186684

Highland Times 29 March on warhead increase

http://www.thehighlandtimes.com/news/2021/03/29/uk-nuke-number-hike-%E2%80%9Ccalamitous%E2%80%9D-say-campaigners/


Trident Ploughshares Press Release: 29th March 2021 – for immediate use

Trident Ploughshares is a campaign to disarm the UK Trident nuclear weapons system in a nonviolent, open, peaceful and fully accountable manner.

UK Nuke Number Hike “Calamitous” Say Campaigners

The anti-nuclear campaign Trident Ploughshares has reacted strongly to the decision of the UK government to increase its nuclear weapon stockpile by 40%, labelling it as calamitous and provocative.

In the Integrated Defence Review published last week the UK announced that it will increase its cap on deployed and stockpiled nuclear bombs to 260, and at the same time will lower the threshold on the use of its nuclear weapons by indicating that we may fire them in response to “emerging technologies”.

In a letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson the campaigners point out that the move completely undermines any pretence the UK has of abiding by the terms of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). It says:

To increase the warhead stockpile at the same time as claiming to abide by the NPT is utterly disingenuous. It is however more than a breach of a key UN disarmament treaty, it is a dangerous and provocative step. It provides an excuse for any other nuclear-armed state wishing to make its own disastrous contribution to the nuclear arms race. And it provides sufficient rationale for any non-nuclear state wishing to go nuclear to conclude that the nuclear-armed states have no interest at all in the enforcement of article VI of the NPT, to conclude further that the NPT has fallen into abeyance, and to develop nuclear weapons of their own accordingly. Whatever technical reasons may lie behind the decision it is the public and international effect that is calamitous.”

The letter ends with a question:

How does the United Kingdom intend to present and defend the decision to increase its stockpile cap in the context of negotiations at the upcoming NPT Review Conference?”

David Mackenzie said:

No other reason presents itself for this dangerous and maverick behaviour than a desire to prove “tough guy” credentials for public consumption and to appease the hawks within the Conservative party. We also should recall that just a few weeks ago the Labour Party made its infamous vow that backing the UK’s nuclear weapons was “non-negotiable”, so they may also have played a part in a macho bidding war. For nuclear disarmament at international level this behaviour is utterly irresponsible. We are asking instead for a mature and realistic change of direction from the UK. The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons has now entered into force and has majority support across the globe. The UK must begin to adjust to this reality.”

Contact: Angie Zelter 07454 573135 David Mackenzie 07876 593016


NFLA media release, 17th March 2021

NFLA sees UK Defence Review as seriously threatening 30 years of gradual nuclear disarmament and it opposes increase in Trident warheads

The UK & Ireland Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) note the UK Government’s publication of its Integrated Strategic Defence Review today, which seeks to pivot the UK from centralising its policy within Europe and more towards a ‘global arena’, particularly the Asia-Pacific region.Whilst NFLA will consider the report in its totality, of particular concern to us, as it has been to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), is the potential increase in the cap of the UK’s nuclear weapons arsenal. This could reverse Britain’s long-standing principles and commitments to non-proliferation, disarmament and international security. (1)In Parliament yesterday, the Leader of the Opposition Keir Starmer also focused on this issue, saying:

“This review breaks the goal of successive prime ministers and cross-party efforts to reduce our nuclear stockpile. It doesn’t explain, when, why, or for what strategic purpose.”

The UK’s Integrated Review abandons the UK’s previous commitment of a cap of operational nuclear warheads set at 120, and it raises the overall cap on the UK’s stockpile from 180 to 260 – an increase of more than 40%. The UK says the move is necessary due to the “evolving security environment” without giving any evidence how more nuclear warheads will protect British citizens. According to defence sources speaking to ‘The Guardian’ the decision to lift the UK’s Trident warhead cap by over 40% was motivated by a desire to be more assertive about nuclear weapons: “If we have them, let’s not apologise for it, let’s own it,” an insider told the newspaper. (2) In a different statement, the UK Foreign Minister Dominic Raab has commented, on the 50th anniversary of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, that the UK Government remain committed to the goal of a world free from nuclear weapons. (3) The decision on not reducing the cap on Trident missiles does not suggest that, in tone as much as in reality. With the crucial 5 yearly Review Conference taking place in the summer NFLA would question whether this shows the UK Government as “working in good faith” to prevent proliferation and accomplish the elimination of all nuclear weapons anytime soon. It also remains a disappointing move when the majority of UN member states are in the process of ratifying or supporting the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), which became a part of the international disarmament regime in January.  As part of this campaign it should be noted that:

• Major international banks and financial institutions are divesting from nuclear weapons production, informed by ICAN’s “Don’t Bank on the Bomb” campaign. A number of Scottish Councils like Renfrewshire, Midlothian, West Dunbartonshire and Inverclyde have passed resolutions supporting divestment in this area from Council Pension Funds.

• A number of Councils across Britain, including Manchester, Edinburgh, Oxford, Brighton and Hove, Norwich and Leeds, have also signed up to support the TPNW.  Other Councils will follow.

• Since October 2020, Anglican and Catholic leaders in the UK and a range of faith leaders and prominent opinion formers have openly endorsed the TPNW and called on the UK government to change its stance towards it.

• 59% of the UK public think that the UK should sign up to the TPNW, while 77% support a total global nuclear weapons ban, according to recent polling by Survation for the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND).

NFLA also note a statement sent out yesterday by leading UK faith leaders raising deep disappointment with the review. The 7 faith leaders’ comment:

“The entry into force of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition in of Nuclear Weapons is an encouraging development. As people of faith, we join with millions across the world who are working towards the elimination of nuclear arsenals. Living up to our responsibilities under the Non-Proliferation Treaty would be a step towards realising that vision. We believe that ‘Global Britain’ should strive for peaceful and cooperative international relationships, and joint endeavour on climate change, global poverty and other challenges. This announcement takes us in a worrying and wholly wrong direction.” (4)

NFLA would completely agree with that assessment. This new UK review appears to seek to create a more assertive defence and foreign policy that emphasises Britain as an ongoing global power, when for NFLA it would be much better to encourage multilateral cooperation, as has taken place to some degree with the global Covid-19 pandemic.

NFLA Steering Committee Chair, Councillor David Blackburn, said:

“The NFLA will carefully study the Government’s integrated defence review and publish a more detailed report soon. However, we remain alarmed to an apparent move in the posture on nuclear weapons which clearly suggests retaining more Trident warheads. The UK Government should rather be continuing the process began by previous Labour and Conservative Governments over the past 30 years which has seen slow reductions in our nuclear weapons stockpile and speed these processes up. Adding billions of pounds in new investment for defence infrastructure, whilst at the same time slashing the international aid budget for those in our world who are most vulnerable, does not send out the right signals to the world. Multilateral nuclear disarmament remains essential in our world, and this review suggests a clear tonal move to a more aggressive unilateral defence policy promoting, rather than apologising for, our nuclear weapons programme. NFLA strongly opposes such a change in policy direction.”

Media Contact

Sean Morris

Tel – mobile – 07771 930196

Email: sean.morris@manchester.gov.uk

Website: https: //www.nuclearpolicy.info and http://www.mayorsforpeace.org 


ICAN in the UK Press Release

16 March 2021

SHOCKING EXPANSION OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS IS TONE DEAF TO THE NEEDS OF BRITISH CITIZENS

16 March 2021

Today’s announcement of a dramatic increase in the UK nuclear arsenal reverses Britain’s longstanding principles and commitments to nonproliferation, disarmament and international security. 

The UK’s Integrated Review, published today, abandons the UK’s previous commitment of a cap of operational nuclear warheads set at 120, and raises the overall cap on the UK’s stockpile from 180 to 260 – an increase of more than 40%. The UK says the move is necessary due to the “evolving security environment” without giving any evidence how more warheads will protect British citizens.

This unwarranted change of direction will be a huge blow to UK allies in the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) of which the UK was a founder member 50 years ago.  The NPT, which is set to meet later this year for a crucial 5 yearly Review Conference, requires the UK and 190 states to work in good faith to prevent proliferation and accomplish the elimination of all nuclear weapons. 

The UK government’s decision to enhance nuclear weapons will also raise global security concerns and strain relations with over 130 states that support the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons – a new treaty which makes nuclear weapons illegal under international law and which entered into force in January this year.

This dangerous decision panders to right wing ‘punch above weight’ ideologies that have nothing to do with British security.  It flies in the face of Britain’s genuine security needs and appears ignorant of the widespread and increasing opposition to the UK’s continued possession of nuclear weapons:

  • Scotland’s First Minister and Government are unambiguously committed to the TPNW, seeking to be in a position to join and publicly oppose all aspects of the UK’s nuclear weapons policy including the transportation of lethal warheads between Faslane, Coulport, and Berkshire’s bomb factories, Aldermaston and Burghfield.
  • Major international banks and financial institutions are divesting from nuclear weapons production, informed by ICAN’s “Don’t Bank on the Bomb” campaign
  • Cities across Britain, including Manchester, Edinburgh, Oxford, Brighton and Hove, Norwich and Leeds, have signed up to support the Treaty’s implementation.  Many more Councils will follow. 
  • Since October, Anglican and Catholic leaders in the UK and a range of Scottish and other UK celebrities have openly endorsed the TPNW and called on the UK government to change its stance.
  • 59% of the UK public think that Britain should sign up to the Treaty, while 77% support a total global nuclear weapons ban, according to new polling by Survation for the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.

Dr Rebecca Johnson, co-coordinator of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) UK partners, said:

“Increasing nuclear weapons will undermine British security when responsible governments around the world are prioritising Covid, cyber threats and the climate emergency. This dangerous nuclear step will become another of Boris Johnson’s reckless and expensive mistakes. It will undermine the NPT [Non-Proliferation Treaty], alienate Britain’s allies and increase fears that the UK is on a hell bent road to sabotage our future and the collective norms and laws on which our security depends.”

Ben Donaldson, Head of Campaigns at UNA-UK said:

“The Integrated Review’s combination of militarism and hubris is toxic and this decision feels like a move to impress a second Trump administration that never came to pass rather than a responsible step to protect British citizens. We need the UK Government to invest in measures to combat climate change and pandemics, not trigger a dangerous new arms race. It will strain diplomatic relations with over 130 countries who oppose nuclear weapons, it contradicts the UN Secretary-General’s call for accelerated progress on disarmament and it undermines the UK’s claim to be a responsible member of the UN Security Council.”

Janet Fenton, Scottish co-coordinator of ICAN’s UK partners said:

“The UK has now abandoned any pretence of gradual nuclear disarmament for the sake of a provocative and arrogant policy that puts the world and any possibility of addressing the climate emergency at risk. Scotland has a special concern, as the UK’s nuclear weapons are hosted here, despite the clear opposition of the Scottish Government. At Scotland’s May election, voting for candidates who will prioritise nuclear disarmament in Scotland (and, consequently, in the UK as a whole) will be at the top of the agenda.”

Media contact:

hello@nuclearban.co.uk or Dr Rebecca Johnson 07733 360955


Scottish CND Press Release: 16th March 2021 – for immediate use

UK DROPS “STEP-BY-STEP” NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT

Campaigners have reacted with distress and anger at the news that the UK has decided to increase the number of nuclear bombs it deploys and stockpiles by 40%.

In the last two decades the UK has gradually reduced the number of warheads to around 180, claiming the reduction as a sign of a good intention to fulfil its obligation under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) to take genuine steps towards disarmament. Critics have pointed out that reducing the number of nuclear bombs to a point where you are still able to inflict devastation at over a thousand times that unleashed on Hiroshima 75 years ago, and at the same time modernising the system, is not a genuine step towards disarmament.

Now the UK will in fact increase the number of warheads to 260, a move at odds its policy hitherto of claiming to regard the NPT as the “cornerstone” of the global disarmament framework.

Scottish CND Chair Lynn Jamieson said:

What neo-colonial delusions and swaggering machismo goes from building ‘a better Britain’ to investment in more nuclear weapons -good for agonising mass death and poisoning for all living things but nothing else? Forget the old think of ‘deterrence’ the majority world is moving on. Commitment to more nuclear weapons is dangerous nose-thumbing at the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) which some state actors regard as potentially dovetailing with the UN Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Rather than negotiations towards cessation of the nuclear arms race as the NPT requests, our government is starting its own. The climate emergency, the pandemic and the Brexit catastrophe require a focus on real security achieved by reducing inequalities and working to heal environmental and social harms – nuclear weapons are the antithesis.”

Following this news and as the Scottish parliamentary election looms, the rift between Westminster and the Scottish Government in regard to the UK’s WMD arsenal is set to widen. When the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons entered into force as international law on the 22nd of January Scotland’s First Minister said: “While the Scottish Government is unable to become a Party to the Treaty, as First Minister I strongly support the principles of the Treaty and the work of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. An independent Scotland would be a keen signatory and I hope the day we can do that is not far off.”

Contact: Lynn Jamieson 07974 631397 Janet Fenton 07795 594573

banthebomb.org   nuclearban.scot      icanw.org    #NukesAreMyRedLine


UN HOUSE 23rd Jan 21

Entry into Force Showcase coming soon!

The ICAN in the UK Partner Coordinating Team are collating media materials (photos, videos, press releases, etc) that record the events and activities held around the Entry into Force in the UK. This collection will be called the Entry into Force Showcase and will be released soon! In addition to showcasing all of the fantastic work everyone did on and around January 22nd, it will be used to demonstrate the strong, consolidated disarmament effort running through the heart of the UK. Everything from billboards to banners and virtual discos to a virtual lobby of MPs was held to mark the Entry into Force. Ideally you will use this Showcase to rally support, demonstrate the hard work being done, disseminate to the public, raise awareness, and campaigning of all sorts! Thank you to all those that powered through the restrictive winter COVID measures to ensure maintained momentum toward our journey to international disarmament. We look forward to showcasing your hard work!


ICAN in the UK Press Release 22nd January 2021

UN Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapons becomes international law on 22 Jan 2021.

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) entered into force today, three years after being negotiated at the UN General Assembly and 90 days after the 50th country joined the Treaty on 24 October 2020.

The TPNW currently has 51 states parties and an overall supporter-base of at least 130 countries – over two thirds of the international community. The Treaty has the support of the United Nations Secretary-General, who sees it as an “important element of the nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime” as well as the support of global civil society through the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN, 2017 Nobel Prize Winners).

At present the UK Government does not support the Treaty. The UK’s dismissive approach to a Treaty with wide international support will affect the UK’s diplomatic relations as it seeks to build a new reputation under its “Global Britain” mantra.

The Treaty will affect the UK at home too:

Scotland’s First Minister and Government are unambiguously committed to the TPNW, seeking to be in a position to join, and publicly oppose all aspects of the UK’s nuclear weapons policy including the transportation of lethal warheads between Faslane, Coulport, and Berkshire’s bomb factories, Aldermaston and Burghfield.

Major international banks and financial institutions are divesting from nuclear weapons production, informed by ICAN’s “Don’t Bank on the Bomb” campaign.

Cities across Britain, including Manchester, Edinburgh, Oxford, Brighton and Hove, Norwich and Leeds, have signed up to support the Treaty’s implementation. Many more Councils will follow.

Since October, Anglican and Catholic leaders in the UK and a range of Scottish and other UK celebrities have openly endorsed the TPNW and called on the UK government to change its stance.

59% of the UK public think that Britain should sign up to the Treaty, while 77% support a total global nuclear weapons ban, according to new polling by Survation for the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.

While observing Covid restrictions, British-based ICAN partners are marking this important milestone in many ways, working with MPs, Mayors and local leaders to raise awareness via billboards, banners, and bell ringing (see here for more details).

Nuclear weapons are dangerous security risks, not assets. They are useless for tackling today’s major threats like the COVID-19, climate and ecological emergencies. Whether intentional or accidental, any nuclear weapons use would have catastrophic and global humanitarian consequences. This cannot be confined to a national debate – the UK has a responsibility to listen to the concerns of the global community.

ICAN UK partners have written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson to urge his government to engage constructively with this Treaty. Until such time that the UK is able to join the Treaty, ICAN UK partners have called on the UK to participate in meetings of states parties as an observer and contribute to discussions including on disarmament verification, environmental remediation and victim assistance.

Noting that nuclear weapons continue to be a major security problem, Dr Rebecca Johnson, author of a forthcoming report on the TPNW’s implications for the UK, said,

“This Treaty is an example of UN multilateralism in action. Britain needs to be at the table, taking the next steps towards ridding the world of nuclear weapons.”

Speaking from UN House Scotland, ICAN Steering Group member, Janet Fenton, said:

“Scotland can contribute to international peace rather than being a launch pad for waging nuclear war. The TPNW shows the will of the sane majority of the world, and will ensure our protection under international law if we can accede to the TPNW.”

Ben Donaldson of United Nations Association – UK said:

“The ground is moving under the UK’s feet. This significant new UN treaty will sit alongside the other major global treaty on nuclear weapons, the Non-Proliferation Treaty, and drive forward the vision of a world free of nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons are a global threat. Two thirds of countries want urgent action to reduce this threat. The UK has a legal and moral responsibility to act.”

Media contact: hello@nuclearban.co.uk or Dr Rebecca Johnson 07733 360955


Oft in the Stilly Night

As the Nuclear Ban Treaty enters into force here is Brian Quail’s moving tribute to Scottish peace activists who worked for this prize and who are no longer with us.


Scottish Branch Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom Media Release 18 January 2021 :

First Minister Endorses the Scottish Women’s Covenant on the Nuclear Ban Treaty

Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has endorsed the Scottish Women’s Covenant1 on the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which promotes the TPNW, which enters into force on 22 January 2021, as the first nuclear disarmament treaty to acknowledge that women are disproportionately affected by nuclear weapons and insists that their voices must be heard within disarmament negotiations

The Covenant, initiated by the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom2, is founded on the knowledge that the risks to women’s health and reproductive capacity from ionising radiation are greater than for men, while current power structures mean that women are routinely excluded from nuclear disarmament negotiations.

Nicola Sturgeon said:

I share the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom’s opposition to nuclear weapons – they are morally, strategically and economically wrong. They are indiscriminate and devastating in their impacts; their use would bring unspeakable humanitarian suffering and widespread environmental damage. The Scottish Government is firmly opposed to the possession, threat and use of nuclear weapons and we are committed to pursuing the safe and the complete withdrawal of all nuclear weapons from Scotland.

While the Scottish Government is unable to become a Party to the Treaty, as First Minister I stronglysupport the principles of the Treaty and the work of the Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom. An independent Scotland would be a keen signatory and I hope the day we can do that is not far off.

The Scottish Government has called repeatedly on the UK Government to cancel its plans for the Dreadnought Programme (the Trident Successor Programme) as nuclear weapons do not provide a meaningful deterrent to modern day threats such as terrorist attacks, and there are no realistic short or medium-term threats which justify the possession, the costs or the potential use of Trident and its successor.

Women have always played an important role in the opposition to nuclear weapons, and it is vital that women are included when these issues are discussed internationally. The Scottish Government thanks and congratulates all the states which have ratified the Treaty; we look forward to the Treaty coming in to force and will monitor developments with interest.”

In addition to the First Minister, Scottish WILPF’s Covenant has so far been endorsed by Women for Indy, Scottish CND, UN House Scotland, WILPF UK, Scottish members of Sorptomists International, and others, including a number of Scottish MPs and MSPs . The final list of those endorsing on the 22nd January will published and also sent to:

  • Isha Sesay, UNFPA, as Goodwill Ambassador to help the fight against violence against women and girls, who was appointed on the first of this year’s 16 days campaign; 
  • Setsuko Thurlow, as the atomic survivor and co-recipient of the Nobel Peace prize that was awarded to the International Campaign for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons for its contribution to the treaty.

Lynn Jamieson, WILPF member and Chair of Scottish CND commented:

“The use and threatened use of nuclear weapons is the ultimate obscenity in gender violence.  The UK habit of justifying nuclear weapons is rooted in the historical conflation of leadership with a chauvinistic masculinity that celebrates dominance through strength and force.  Women can take on this mantle, adopt its arrogant entitlement to threaten and fain blindness to the catastrophic global consequences of a nuclear strike. In Scotland, we are grateful for a first minister whose leadership sees through this to a future without nuclear weapons.” 

Ends

Contacts and source

Janet Fenton 07795 594573 janet@wordsandactions.scot

1 The Covenant: Today (6th December 2020) , on International Human Rights Day and following 2020’s 16 Days Campaign to end Violence against women and girls, The Scottish Branch of WILPF initiates Scottish Women’s Covenant to promote the significance of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons as the first UN nuclear weapons treaty that recognises the disproportionate impact from nuclear weapons on women and girls, and the special danger that women experience from their manufacture, testing and existence as well as from their testing and use. We urge all Governments to fully commit to joining the TPNW to ensure that women are protected from nuclear weapons use or accident, and to ensuring that women’s voices are head in all negotiations about nuclear weapons policy.

2The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) is a non-profit non-governmental organization working “to bring together women of different political views and philosophical and religious backgrounds determined to study and make known the causes of war and work for a permanent peace” and to unite women worldwide who oppose oppression and exploitation. ww.wilpf.org


Scotland and the World Set to Celebrate as Nuclear Ban Treaty Enters into Force

Strong Support from the Church of Scotland

On Friday, 22nd people all over Scotland will join a global celebration as the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) 1becomes international law.

The TPNW prohibits the developing, testing, producing, manufacturing, otherwise acquiring, possessing, stockpiling, transferring, using or threatening to use nuclear weapons, assisting other states with these prohibited activities, stationing, deployment or installation of nuclear weapons belonging to other states on a state party’s territory. The nine nuclear weapons states (including the UK) have not signed or ratified the TPNW but nevertheless it will affect their capabilities and, more importantly, as with other inhumane weapon prohibition treaties and conventions, it is already changing the global perception of what is acceptable.

There is a very positive response to the Treaty from civil society in Scotland, with expressions of support and statements from many kenspeckle Scots2, including the Rt Revd Dr Martin Fair, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, who said:

On arriving at university as a 17 year-old, pretty much the first thing I did was join CND. I’ve never been more sure about anything than that the possession of nuclear weapons is morally wrong.

Nearly forty years on, I’m proud to be Moderator of the General Assembly of a Church that has consistently taken the same view. At times, as we seek great changes – dismantling apartheid, tackling global poverty – we can become disheartened and start to think that we’ll never make any difference, that we’re ‘whistling in the wind’. The signing of TPNW into international law is a significant moment in this journey and should be all the encouragement we need to continue the work to eventually see total elimination.”

A special focus on Friday is the call for people to come to their front doors, windows or gates at noon on the day to celebrate with bells, musical instruments, drums or creative percussion and with banners or flags to join in with many churches that will be ringing their bells at the same time.3

Campaigners will also celebrate the progress the Treaty has already made. Backed by 130 states at the UN in December it is gradually acquiring recognition and acceptance as a vital contribution to disarmament. A special feature is the way in which global financial institutions are taking account of the Treaty and dis-investing from nuclear weapon production4. The Treaty’s entry into force will increase the pressure on Scottish financial institutions and public bodies to divest from the nuclear weapons industry, and this will be a focus for campaigners going forward5.

3. Contacts and sources

Janet Fenton 07795 594573

nuclearban.scot

icanw.org

1https://www.icanw.org/the_treaty

2 “Kenspeckle Scots for the TPNW” include:

Aamer Anwar, human rights lawyer, Adam Holmes, Scottish singer and songwriter,

AL Kennedy, writer, Alastair McIntosh,Writer, academic and activist, Alexandra Lort,Theatre & Film Producer, Bruce McGregor, Fiddle player and composer, broadcaster, presenter of Travelling Folk on BBC Scotland, Cameron McNeish,Mountaineer, author and broadcaster, Dave Anderson, actor, Dennis Canavan, former MP and MSP, Douglas Robertson, gig organiser and photographer, Eileen Penman,community singer songwriter, Innes Watson, musician, Jarlath Henderson, musician, Jamie Wardrop, artist, Jerry Loose, poet, Jim Sutherland, film maker and composer for Brave, John Mayer, author, Karine Polwart, Scottish singer, songwriter and writer, Larry Flanagan, General Secretary of the EIS,Lesley Orr, feminist historian and theologian, Lesley Riddoch,broadcaster, journalist, author, Maeve McKinnon, Scottish singer in Gaelic and English, Mike Kirby, Secretary, UNISON Scotland, Pat Kane, musician, journalist, political activist, Penny Stone,songleader, community musician, Rachel Sermanni,singer-songwriter, Robin McAlpine, journalist and Director of Common Weal, Ross Ainslie, musician, Rt Revd Dr Martin Fair, Moderator, Church of Scotland, Sean and Robyn Gray, musicians and Young Trad finalists, Stuart McHardy, historian, Willie Sinclair,folk-singer.

3Full event list: https://www.nuclearban.scot/events-list/

4 A recent example is the Japanese investment giant MUFG which will no longer invest in nuclear weapon production as it now classes them along with “other inhumane weapons”.


Scottish CND Press Release: 13th January 2021

Kenspeckle Scots Come Out In Support of the Nuclear Ban Treaty

Kenspeckle Scots for the TPNW are registering to show their enthusiastic welcome for The Treaty of the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons whose entry into force in 8 days time will be celebrated far and widei.

The TPNWii prohibits the developing, testing, producing, manufacturing, otherwise acquiring, possessing, stockpiling, transferring, using or threatening to use nuclear weapons, assisting other states with these prohibited activities, stationing, deployment or installation of nuclear weapons belonging to other states on a state party’s territory. While the Treaty does not add any additional obligations on states which are not party to it, its entry into force will have significant impact on the nuclear-armed states.

Among those who have already registered their support are: Larry Flanagan, General Secretary of the EIS, Scotland’s largest teaching union; Mike J Kirby, Secretary, UNISON Scotland; author AL Kennedy; Cameron McNeish, mountaineer, author and broadcaster; Aamer Anwar, human rights lawyer and formerly Rector of Glasgow University; Adam Holmes, Scottish singer and songwriter; Dave Anderson, actor; Bruce McGregor, fiddler and presenter of Travelling Folk on BBC Scotland: Gerry Loose, poet; Jim Sutherland, film composer for Brave ; Karine Polwart, Scottish singer, songwriter and writer; Rachel Sermanni, singer-songwriter; Alastair McIntosh, writer, academic and activist. Leslie Orr, feminist historian, theologian and supporter of the Scottish Women’s Covenant for the TPNW.

AL Kennedy said:

Scotland is fast developing an international reputation for good governance and humane policy making. It is pressingly urgent that we take our commitment to international harmony and human rights to the next level and become signatories to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Rather than a being a dumping ground for nuclear weapons and all their risks at home and promises of violence to the world, Scotland can be a leader.”

i Events already for the 22nd January are being planned with flexibility around

COVID restrictions. Current plans include: photo opportunities at the Scottish Parliament and at the Scotland Office with an advertising trailer publicising the Treaty; projections and large billboard adverts; special murals for the Clutha in Glasgow and the St John’s Church at the west end in Edinburgh are in the pipeline; displays of banners and flags across the country; statements of support from high profile figures in civil, religious and cultural life; new songs and poems written to mark this landmark occasion will be published or streamed; Indylive and other broadcasters will be presenting radio interviews and livestreaming actions, and academic institutions will be hosting webinars on or around the date. A special feature to allow mass participation while large gatherings are not possible is the call for people to come to their front doors, windows or gates at noon on the day to celebrate with bells, musical instruments, drums or creative percussion and with banners or flags to join in with many churches that will be ringing their bells at the same time. Events already for the 22nd January are being planned with flexibility around

COVID restrictions. Current plans include: photo opportunities at the Scottish Parliament and at the Scotland Office with an advertising trailer publicising the Treaty; projections and large billboard adverts; special murals for the Clutha in Glasgow and the St John’s Church at the west end in Edinburgh are in the pipeline; displays of banners and flags across the country; statements of support from high profile figures in civil, religious and cultural life; new songs and poems written to mark this landmark occasion will be published or streamed; Indylive and other broadcasters will be presenting radio interviews and livestreaming actions, and academic institutions will be hosting webinars on or around the date. A special feature to allow mass participation while large gatherings are not possible is the call for people to come to their front doors, windows or gates at noon on the day to celebrate with bells, musical instruments, drums or creative percussion and with banners or flags to join in with many churches that will be ringing their bells at the same time.

iihttps://www.icanw.org/the_treaty

Graphics and Images for Free and Open Use are HERE


Media Briefing: 4th January 2021

ICAN in Scotland

Campaigners in Scottish CND, Trident Ploughshares, Edinburgh Peace and Justice Centre, MEDACT, Northern Friends Peace Board, UN House Scotland, Scottish WILPF, Mayors for Peace and Don’t Bank on the Bomb Scotland working with the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.

Scottish Response to Entry into Force of Nuclear Ban Treaty on January 22nd

1. On 22nd January the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons1 (TPNW, aka “The Nuclear Ban Treaty”) will enter into force as international law. There will be celebrations of the event worldwide and in Scotland these will be many and varied, and will highlight the very special relevance2 of the Treaty for Scotland.

2. Events already for the 22nd January are being planned with flexibility around

COVID restrictions. Current plans include: photo opportunities at the Scottish Parliament and at the Scotland Office with an advertising trailer publicising the Treaty; projections and large billboard adverts; special murals for the Clutha in Glasgow and the St John’s Church at the west end in Edinburgh are in the pipeline; displays of banners and flags across the country; statements of support from high profile figures in civil, religious and cultural life; new songs and poems written to mark this landmark occasion will be published or streamed; Indylive and other broadcasters will be presenting radio interviews and livestreaming actions, and academic institutions will be hosting webinars on or around the date. A special feature to allow mass participation while large gatherings are not possible is the call for people to come to their front doors, windows or gates at noon on the day to celebrate with bells, musical instruments, drums or creative percussion and with banners or flags to join in with many churches that will be ringing their bells at the same time.Events already for the 22nd January are being planned with flexibility around

COVID restrictions. Current plans include: photo opportunities at the Scottish Parliament and at the Scotland Office with an advertising trailer publicising the Treaty; projections and large billboard adverts; special murals for the Clutha in Glasgow and the St John’s Church at the west end in Edinburgh are in the pipeline; displays of banners and flags across the country; statements of support from high profile figures in civil, religious and cultural life; new songs and poems written to mark this landmark occasion will be published or streamed; Indylive and other broadcasters will be presenting radio interviews and livestreaming actions, and academic institutions will be hosting webinars on or around the date. A special feature to allow mass participation while large gatherings are not possible is the call for people to come to their front doors, windows or gates at noon on the day to celebrate with bells, musical instruments, drums or creative percussion and with banners or flags to join in with many churches that will be ringing their bells at the same time.

1 The TPNW prohibits the developing, testing, producing, manufacturing, otherwise acquiring, possessing, stockpiling, transferring, using or threatening to use nuclear weapons, assisting other states with these prohibited activities, stationing, deployment or installation of nuclear weapons belonging to other states on a state party’s territory. The nine nuclear weapons states (including the UK) have not signed or ratified the TPNW but nevertheless it will affect their capabilities and, more importantly, as with other inhumane weapon prohibition treaties and conventions, it is already changing the global perception of what is acceptable. This norm shift is significant in a world in which even authoritarian states guard their global reputations as they attempt to expand or protect their spheres of influence.

2 The Treaty’s Entry into Force will provide a strong boost to Scottish public, parliamentarian and government opposition to the UK’s nuclear weapons. It will also be a key factor should Scotland achieve independence, persist with that opposition, and ratify the TPNW. If Scotland signs the Treaty, this situation would be outlawed by the UN. The Treaty specifically forbids a signed-up state to allow any stationing of nuclear weapons on its territory or under its jurisdiction and also insists that states in the Treaty will ensure the prompt removal of any nuclear weapons belonging to another state, with a clear timeline for this action. Scotland would then have the specific and unqualified backing of international law, (as well as huge international support) to have the weapons removed and to resist any pressure to give the UK a long lease of the Clyde nuclear weapon bases. Without a feasible UK re-location option the remnant Westminster government would be faced with no credible alternative to disarmament. Aside from independence, the Scottish government already has devolved competence to support the TPNW. Responsibility for civil society’s basic safety includes risk assessment of the nuclear warhead carriers on Scottish roads, and radiation leaks in the Gare Loch. The government can educate citizens about the UN processes and health workers about radiation effects. The distinct Scottish legal system and police force can consider Scotland’s responsibilities.


Recent Scottish media coverage around the TPNW in October 2020

19th October, 2020

Prep piece by David Mackenzie in Source News

21st October, 2020

Prep piece by David Mackenzie in the Scottish Review

22nd October, 2020

Prep Piece by Janet Fenton in the National

25th October, 2020

Blog by Dr Craig Dalziel (Lead researcher for Commonwealth and Commentator on Constitutional and Economic affairs)

Mike Small of Bella Caledonia -Pariah Weapons – Hope in the Darkness for a Nuclear-free World (incorporating SCND Press release)

Trident Ploughshares Celebration at Faslane in the National

27th October, 2020

Lesley Morrison of Medact in The Herald

Greens to push for independent Scotland to back nuclear ban

Marian Pallister in Source News

28th October, 2020

Tasmina Ahmed Sheikh in the National – the TPNW and removing UK weapons from Scotland