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