Disarming Women From Paris

In February the YesHub in Edinburgh supported three folk to join the Paris Forum organised by ICAN France. Three (very different) women went to Paris thanks to the sponsorship.

Anna Karisto is currently pursuing a nuclear disarmament internship with Edinburgh Peace and Justice Centre while completing the last year of my law degree at the University of Edinburgh. She became involved with ICAN in 2017, just before the second TPNW conference, when interning with a Finnish partner of the campaign. She describes the ICAN Paris Forum as a powerful experience;

“ I got to hear and learn about nuclear disarmament directly from activists and scholars who I have watched speaking through my laptop screen for years now and cited in my own research. ICAN places the experiences of individuals and communities impacted by nuclear weapons at the centre of the disarmament debate and how nuclear disarmament requires cooperation between generations..”

Dagmar Schwitzgebel integrates her art and her activism in every aspect of her life, working with a range of performance strategies as tools for resistance, to challenge expectations of political activism. As part of a Trident Ploughshares, she disrupts and draw attention to the ‘nuclear dump’ of Trident submarines at the Devonport docks. “The importance of infinite dignity was expressed, especially that of indigenous peoples that are poisoned and violated by uranium mining. Grassroots movements all highlighted the links to climate change, and aimed to educate. Art in activism makes issues accessible, we need to enact the change, be kind with each other and enable a room for dialogue.” The third of the women who shared the accommodation provided by the YESHUB was Anne McCullagh-Dlyske. Anne has come to campaigning later in a life that has nonetheless always had resistance to supporting the war machine at its core. As a piano teacher she was never to enjoy a full musical career, because she is also a War Tax Resister

“Developing a more peaceful, sustainable world includes divestment from supporting the defence and nuclear  industries, diversification into more positive  alternatives  and education for a better future. War –  the military, and particularly the US military, with the highest carbon footprint of any nation, are the worst offenders on the planet. “ She hopes is that an independent Scotland will create an option for those who refusal to pay taxes for the military to contrbute to a fund to work for non violent conflict resolution.

A great aspiration for Scotland you can hear more about soon. All three women intended speaking at Disarming Women From Paris! (sponsored by the HUB) but the event has been postponed meantime, but we hope that before long they will be sharing ideas about how Scotland can be rid of nuclear weapons and part of the global majority that does not want them here – or anywhere.

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US “usable” nukes and war game a wake-up call for the world

Almost every week seems to bring us closer to the edge of nuclear catastrophe, most recently the news that the US is deploying the weapons and doing the war games for “limited” nuclear war. There are however signs, albeit small, that this wild spear-waving is beginning to provoke some realism.

On 23rd January the Bulletin on the Atomic Scientists moved forward the hands of its symbolic clock which registers the status of existential threats to humanity and the planet, based on the risks of catastrophic climate change and of nuclear war. In its statement, the Bulletin said that any belief that the threat of nuclear war has been vanquished is a mirage and that civilisation-ending nuclear war – whether started by design, blunder, or simple miscommunication – is a genuine possibility. Their assessment was based on the Iranian and North Korean developments as well as on the almost total breakdown in arms control measures applying to the nuclear armed states.

The situation has just got even worse. On 29th January we learned that US Navy had deployed the new W76-2 “low-yield” warhead aboard the USS Tennessee. The W76-2 It has an explosive yield of five kilotons, a third of the power of the “Little Boy” bomb dropped on Hiroshima. The unhinged idea behind it is that it could be used militarily, unlike the bigger weapons in the arsenal whose use would lead inevitably to a civilisation-ending exchange. These bright planners are glossing over the fact that it is still a warhead of massive destructive power, capable of inflicting thousands of civilian deaths, horrific injuries, fatal radiation sickness and significant environmental damage. Further, these “tactical” missiles would not be launched singly but as a salvo. Also off the wall is the calculation that any enemy response to its use would be limited to the same level. Once the nuclear threshold is crossed we are on a steep slope to disaster.

On 17th January the US conducted a simulated war scenario in which they responded to a tactical nuclear attack from Russia with their own nuclear weapons. Far from being secretive or coy about it the Pentagon released the story at a press conference, with the clear aim of impressing everyone they felt needed to be impressed. Granted, this was a “table top” exercise invisible at the time to outsiders but the nuclear planners seem to have forgotten just how close to global nuclear war we were brought during the Cold War by exercises such as Able Archer. Were they also unaware of the study conducted by researchers at Princeton in September last year calculating the effects of such an exchange of “tactical” nuclear weapons? The researchers’ scenario depicted “a plausible escalating war between the United States and Russia using realistic nuclear force postures, targets and fatality estimates. It is estimated that there would be more than 90 million people dead and injured within the first few hours of the conflict.”

In the history of the major Cold War nuclear confrontations a touch of realism tended to appear at the most critical points. Kennedy and Kruschev, then Reagan and Gorbachev, backed off. The ramping up of nuclear tension comes two months before the Review Conference of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) which, at least notionally, provides an opportunity to measure the stance and performance of the nuclear-armed states against their responsibilities as parties to the Treaty. On 25th February the Stockholm Initiative nations (Argentina, Canada, Finland, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, the Republic of Korea, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland) laid out their hopes for the Review Conference. While their requests to the big 5 nuclear-armed states are modest, their call for a strong arms control framework and for restraint on the part of the US and Russia is a helpful move.

Yet something more radical is needed. Article V1 of the NPT Treaty states that : Each of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control. No significant progress has been made by the nuclear-armed NPT signatories on this article since the NPT’s’s entry into force in 1968. So long as nuclear weapons exist we will keep coming back to these junctures of extreme peril and always in the background is the realistic threat of an accidental or computer generated initiation of a nightmare exchange. The only real answer is prohibition and elimination. Also at the Review Conference will be the 122 states that voted for the adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons which provides the legal instrument that article V1 requires to do precisely that. We look forward to hearing their voices at the Conference. We are all downwind on this one.

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The US/UK Warhead Deal

In is important to note that the missiles on the UK nuclear weapon submarines are not British but are leased from the US. Indeed the UK does not have the facility to remove the missiles from its four Vanguard class boats– that needs to be done at King’s Bay in Georgia. The delivery and targeting software is US made. The Trident warheads – the actual nuclear bombs – have been manufactured and assembled at the Aldermaston/Burghfield complex in Berkshire but the design is American, although the evidence suggests that some design elements have depended on collaboration between US and UK nuclear weapon engineers. Not a sniff of “taking back control” on this one. The UK describes its Trident system as an “independent nuclear deterrent”. The description is false.

There is therefore nothing new or surprising about the announcement by the Pentagon of a UK/US deal to supply Britain with new warheads. What is less often remarked upon is the fact that this promised deal, and the history of the UK dependence on US warhead technology, amount to a blatant breach of Article 1 of the Nuclear-Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which states that “Each nuclear-weapons state (NWS) undertakes not to transfer, to any recipient (underline added), nuclear weapons, or other nuclear explosive devices, . .”. In nine weeks time diplomats from across the world will gather for the once-in-five-years NPT Review Conference. This Review takes place at a critical juncture for nuclear disarmament. The world is faced with the dismantling of key nuclear arms control frameworks, the ongoing modernisation of nuclear arsenals, and the indications that new states will seek to acquire their own nuclear weapons.

At the review these five nuclear-armed states will seek to represent themselves as the mature and responsible custodians of nuclear security. This is the opposite of the truth. Article V1 of the Treaty states that : Each of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.

In 2017, the majority world adopted the necessary treaty, its called the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, (TPNW) so why is it boycotted by the nuclear-armed states, and why has no significant progress has been made on Article V1 since the NPT’s’s entry into force in 1968? Currently we are going backwards.

The TPNW, a treaty “on general and complete disarmament” already exists and is tailor-made to slot into that gap in the NPT. The TPNW has been signed by 80 states and already ratified by 35. With 50 ratifications it will enter into force and put nuclear weapons in the same pariah category as chemical weapons and landmines. The nuclear-armed state in which you and I are currently stuck has two contradictory responses to the TPNW. On the one hand it sneers at it as a Utopian irrelevance and on the other it claims that it threatens the stability of the arms control and disarmament regime. Along with the other big 5 the UK will want no talk of the TPNW at the NPT conference. This is why we need Scottish parliamentarians to attend the Review Conference as civil society representatives, to make our support for the TPNW visible and articulate. If you want more evidence of the urgency of this check out the stance of the three candidates for the Labour leadership, who feel themselves compelled to parade their virility by parroting the mantras of delusion that bolster the UK’s sacred slaughter system. We can do so much better.

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Scottish campaigners head for Paris disarmament forum

ICAN
in Scotland1

Press Release: 13th February 2020 – for immediate use

A group of Scottish anti-nuclear campaigners are today travelling to Paris to take part in a major international disarmament forum called by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN).

14 Scots are expected to attend the forum at a critical time for global nuclear disarmament. The 5 – yearly review of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty takes place in April/May and the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) is likely to gain 50 state ratifications and enter into legal force this year – all against the background of the increasing threat of nuclear confrontation.

Iona Soper, of Faslane Peace Camp said:

“I’m beyond pleased to be carrying a torch for Scottish CND and the Faslane Peace Camp at the ICAN Paris forum this week. It’s an important opportunity for a meeting of minds with our brothers and sisters from across the international anti-nuclear community, as well as a chance to hear and learn from some of the most prominent and inspiring figureheads of this vital and unifying campaign. The panel I’m most looking forward to is ‘Detoxting From Deterrence and Other Lies’ which aims to expose and counter the patrichical, military-industrial and colonialist frameworks that facilitate mankinds continued engagement with these terrible weapons.”

Also attending is Dr. Michael Orgel of Medact Scotland, an affiliate of both IPPNW (International Physicians for Prevention of Nuclear War) and ICAN. Michael said:

The Paris Forum will have special focus on education (especially of youth and students) about the existential crises of both climate change and nuclear weapons. It is now more important than ever to work together with international partners to get all countries to sign and ratify the U.N. Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons. “

Underlining the links between the climate emergency and the threat of nuclear war, Grace Quin, a computer games student from Edinburgh and a member of the Scottish Youth Climate Strike, will take part in a panel at the forum. Grace said:

Activism and encouraging people not to just accept everything they are told to believe is something that I have been passionate about since I can remember, so I was enthusiastic when I was offered an invitation to speak on a panel about standing up and trying to bringing change for the better. I’m looking forward engaging in topics that I am passionate about and to listen to other speakers.’

Contact: Iona Soper 07500 043226 Janet Fenton 07795 594573

nuclearban.scot icanw.org

1 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

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Brian Quail on “Usable” Nukes

Dear Sir,

“We only have it to prevent anybody ever using nuclear weapons on us. It will never actually be used. It’s just a deterrent”. This, the universal mantra of the apologist for Trident, is rehashed ad nauseam – in spite of the fact that the crews practice diligently to actually use the hellish thing. Facts tell a very different story.

The USS Tennessee, which left port in Georgia at the end of last year, is the first submarine to go on patrol armed with the W76-2 warhead, commissioned by Donald Trump two years ago. This has a yield of 5 kilotons, a third of the power of the “Little Boy” bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

This “low yield”(!) normalizes the W76-2, and makes it more usable. It is thus integrated into military war planning. Hans Kristensen, the director of the nuclear information project at FAS (Federation of American Scientists), said: “Certainly the low-yield collateral effect that would come from this weapon would be very beneficial to a military officer who was going to advise to the president whether we should cross the nuclear threshold.”

So there we have it from the horse’s mouth. While we rabbit on about a never-to-be-used “deterrent”, the US war machine is making plans to actually use nuclear weapons.

This is the inevitable resolution of an inherent contradiction at the very heart of the concept of nuclear deterrence. “Deterrence” is just a fancy Latinate word meaning threat. And a threat is useless, unless you are prepared to act it out. 

Meanwhile, in the real world far from the madding fantasies of American war planners, 122 states agreed on the TPNW (Treaty Prohibiting Nuclear Weapons) at the UN in 2017. Our job is to decide which side we are on.

Fortunately, we in Scotland do have a choice. All parties supporting independence take a principled stand against nuclear WMD. Our cousins south of the Tweed are not so fortunate.

We must be an example for them. We need to lead them, not leave them – to coin a phrase.

Yours sincerely,

Brian Quail, Glasgow

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SCND TPNW 24th January 2020

Emma
Cockburn, Gail Lythgoe, Janet Fenton, David French, David Mackenzie,
Flavia Tudoreanu, Lynn Jamieson (online) and Felix Mensah (online),
Lesley Taylor.

Apologies:
Ann Ballinger; Tony Fitzpatrick

Composition of the working group. There are other areas uncovered by representations. Gil Saunderson could be contacted re Fife. We will include Mike Arnott in the invitation, For Arran the contact will be John Page. Emma compile list of these contacts and the invitation to them will go along with these minutes (David).

Next Phase. We will be urging MSPs and to attend the NPT (April/May); Entry into Force will be acquiring momentum (we will reach out to Irish CND via Janet and the office); work on the Cities Appeal; outcomes and follow-up from Paris Forum.

Paris Forum: Attending will be Flavia, Emma, Gail, Alba, Gordon Dickson (plus 2 young Greens), Anne McCullagh-DLyske, a contact via Mike of the Edinburgh Yes Hub, an intern from the P&J Centre, Dagmar Schwitzgebel, an intern from UN House Scotland, Janet; Grace Quinn who is sponsored by ICAN. All attendees are asked focus on feedback and engagement with their own circle Images from the Forum will be important for sharing in Scotland (David to be alert). Attenders will be able to post directly to nuclearban.scot. Short videos would be good. On return attenders could continue the teamwork with joint presentations etc.

Following this discussion, we agreed it is important to let ICAN internationally know what we have been doing recently as well as reporting to them on after work from forum..

Cities Appeal. Lots of scope since both Greens and SNP as parties support the TPNW and councillors can be reminded of this. NFLA works at political level and includes divestment in the ask . We agreed to focus on the simple sign up to the Cities Appeal especially in Local Authorites not members of NFLA. Following discussion about whether to go for an immediate approach to all councils we agreed to go in the first instance for an extended target group: Aberdeen; Dundee; Inverness; Dumfries and Galloway; North Ayrshire; Stirling. We will work through the local CND or similar groups. Gail will draft a letter for the groups and a model letter to be sent to local councillors. Agreed to inform Sean at NFLA about what we are doing so as to avoid confusions (Janet or David?). There are complexities in Aberdeen which has left the NFLA and Aberdeen CND currently considering who best to work through on the council.

Parliamentary Pledge. David French will check up on status of signatures in the light of changes arising from the general election and also changes at Holyrood (such as Sarah Boyack) . The updated status should be posted on nuclearban.scot. and ICAN informed

Next Round Table 7th April from 2-4 in Glasgow hosted by SCND. Office to arrange room in Wellington Church.

Alignment campaign. We already have the basic trifold leaflet which will be adapted for the presentation (Lesley). Emma agreed to develop an online invitation using the leaflet content to enable individuals and groups to get on board. Emma will explore design plus costs and feasibility of a lapel pin to be awarded to signatories to the personal alignment programme – which should mainly be an online process – with proposals ready for next Exec meeting. Cost of the lapel pin could possibly be shared with ICAN UK.

We discussed ways of sharing ideas and text more generally. In the context of this discussion Gail offered to do a training on the use of Google Docs/Drive for cloud sharing. This would be for the Exec plus staff as a whole, not just this working group.

Googlegroup
Agreed for Janet to set up a Googlegroup for this working group.

Staff Time. Emma calculates this as ½ day’s work for the lapel pin work and other minor items. The time and commitment of staff needs to be outlined and agreed by Exec

Reporting to Exec. This will be done as per template being worked on (David to Discuss with Gordon on standard template for working groups).

Next Meeting: 21st February in the office at 2 p.m.

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Model MP/MSP Appeal

Skeleton letter for you to adjust and send to your elected representatives at Holyrood and Westminster. Use They Work for You website if you are not sure of the names. Please forward letter and replies to hello@nuclearban.scot

Dear MSP or MP (name)

I am writing to you as your constituent to ask you to attend the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) Review in New York this spring.

As a signatory to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) Parliamentary Pledge, you will be aware of the 2017 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), welcomed by the majority of the UN member states. ICAN’s contribution to it earned the movement a Nobel Peace Prize. Scottish MPs and our MSP’s can be accredited to attend through ICAN and its partner organisations.

The NPT has had a limiting effect on nuclear weapons proliferation but the nuclear-armed states, including the UK, have never fulfilled their obligations to negotiate disarmament, and they have opposed the TPNW from the outset. The NPT is reviewed every five years, with preparatory conferences between, so this year’s Review will be the first since the TPNW, which provides the legal route to disarmament, was adopted.

ICAN will be in attendance at the NPT Review. It is planning a special side event to highlight how the TPNW could contribute to the NPT. Additionally, off-record meetings can be arranged with civil society organisations, nuclear weapons victims, scientists and academics. There will be a social event around the same time where informal exchanges can take place.

Scottish MPs and MSPs can meet with, for instance, the diplomats from Ireland and Austria who worked so hard for nuclear disarmament. Ambassadors and parliamentarians can talk informally together at the UN, regardless of constitutional arrangements.

Scotland should not be represented by diplomats who claim that the UK has a mandate to modernise its nuclear weapons system. This is an important opportunity for the world to understand that the UK does not have a mandate over the small country where their nuclear weapons are kept.1

Add any additional comments about previous correspondence you may have had and thank your elected representative for any good recent work.

Yours in peace

1More info at SCND and nuclearban.scot website

The 2020 Review Conference , Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) will take place from 27 April 2020 to 22 May 2020 in New York, United States. The first two weeks are likely to be the best time for input from parliamentarians.

Article VI Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty:

Each party “undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a Treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control”.

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was adopted on 7 July 2017 by the United Nations conference to negotiate a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination, held in New York from 27 to 31 March and 15 June to 7 July 2017.

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NPT and the TPNW at the UN

This year, our Scottish Parliamentarians have a unique opportunity to join diplomats and governments to advocate for nuclear disarmament, not just from Scotland but for the world. Can you help make that happen? Here’s the background and why it’s important.

This year, the Treaty on The Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) gets closer to ‘entry into force’, that is the point at which it will become binding on those who join. For that to happen we only need 16 of the states who have already signed to complete ratification by putting it through their national legislation. All Greens, SNP and a good number of Scottish Labour Parliamentarians have signed a pledge to support the TPNW. The unique opportunity for our parliamentarians will arise because the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) is due for Review in New York in early May 1.

The United Nations established the NPT more than fifty years ago, to prevent proliferation, that is, to curb new nation states from entering an arms race that already threatened all humanity. The world expected the UN to create legislation to prevent any repetition of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The treaty has three main purposes, described as the three pillars; states have taken some action on the first two: no new state that has signed can develop nuclear weapons; no states that sign to be prevented from developing nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. The third pillar2 was a commitment by the (at that time 5) nuclear-armed states to complete nuclear disarmament. No legal route was established to determine how that would happen in the NPT, and while the size of their nuclear arsenals has diminished, the nuclear-armed states still have the capacity to destroy the world as we know it. Nuclear-armed member states have just been at loggerheads with the disarmament movement over multi- or unilateral approaches for years, proliferation has continued, and there are now nine nuclear-armed states. The treaty is reviewed at the UN every five years, with Preparatory Conferences between the Reviews.

In 2017, after a decade of global action by ICAN-partner-organisations’ supporters and diplomats, a new treaty, The Treaty On The Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) was adopted by the UN. It spells out how we can ban the bomb and what that means. The nine nuclear-armed states (and the UN member states which have capitulated to their pressure) have opposed the TPNW from the outset, suggesting that it somehow compromises the NPT. This highlights the hypocrisy of their position as NPT signatories. They have not disarmed, preferring policies like reduction of the numbers of weapons, no first use policies, implying that second use is OK, or other activities that allow them to retain the capacity to annihilate life on the planet. The TPNW actually complements the NPT and gives it the capacity to finish the job it set out to do, complete global disarmament. That’s why ICAN was awarded the Nobel Peace prize for its contribution to its adoption.

This NPT Review will be the first since the TPNW was adopted and it will be an important opportunity for the relationship between the two treaties to be highlighted. Scotland’s voice can be heard. MSP’s and Scottish MP’s can attend meetings that will take place, even if they are not part of the UK diplomatic delegation, so that in the international community Scotland is not misrepresented by UK ambassadors when they claim that the UK has a democratic mandate to renew its own nuclear weapons.

Nobel prize or no, ICAN has not finished its work yet, the campaign aims to abolish nuclear weapons! This means that the ICAN staff and the International Steering Group will be supporting the many UN member states who want to see the Treaty succeed, and even if Scotland is not a member of the UN, all parliamentarians who support the TPNW can meet and exchange ideas, experiences and opportunities to work for the TPNW. We can also lobby the nuclear armed states to make sure that they accept and discuss the impact of the TPNW on the NPT.

Scottish MPs and MSPs can meet with, for instance, the diplomats from Ireland and Austria who have worked so hard for nuclear disarmament, and talk informally together at the UN. This would be much hard to arrange in Scotland for diplomatic reasons.

ICAN is planning a special side event at the NPT where parliamentarians can meet. Off record meetings can be arranged with civil society organisations, nuclear weapons victims, scientists and academics. There will be a social event around the same time where informal exchanges can take place. Scottish MPs and our MSP’s can be accredited to attend through ICAN and its partner organisations.

Can you write to your elected representative(s) and urge them to attend?

SCND has a working group for the TPNW and members, as well as SCND staff can support you in making approaches. We have a model letter template which you can find on the nuclear ban.scot website and we hope that you can adapt this to suit your regional and constituency MSPs and your MP.

SCND will also be looking for additional financial support, to make sure that we are appropriately represented at the meeting and able to provide briefings, and facilitate meetings in New York, so please consider if you can help in that way also.

This is a critical year for Scottish MPs and MSPs to support nuclear disarmament across the world by being in attendance at the NPT’s first Review Conference since the TPNW was adopted. Further details for any MSP’s interested in accreditation from Janet Fenton.

1The 2020
Review Conference
 of
the Nuclear Non-Proliferation
Treaty
 (NPT)
will take place from 27 April 2020 to
22 May 2020 in
New York, United States. The first or second weeks are likely to be
the best time for input from parliamentarians.

2The
Nuclear Non-Proliferaton Treaty,
Article
VI

Each
of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in
good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the
nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and
on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and
effective international control.

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Scottish Solidarity for New States Joining the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

Today is the United Nations International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons and as additional nations prepare to use that occasion to sign or ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), MSPs, councillors and ordinary people gathered outside the Scottish Parliament to express their solidarity with the Treaty and the worldwide movement behind it.

In attendance were representatives from partners in Scotland of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) and they were joined by MSPs Alison Johnston, Mark Ruskell, Bruce Crawford, Gil Paterson, Bill Kidd, Emma Harper, Patrick Harvie, John Finnie, Ross Greer, Claire Adamson, Neil Findlay and Edinburgh Councillor Steve Burgess. At the event Steve handed to MSP Gil Paterson (as representing the Parliament) a copy of Edinburgh’s resolution to support the TPNW. While this was going on Steve was delighted to learn that today Fife Council had also signed up to the ICAN Cities Appeal.

After today’s special ceremony at the UN in New York 79 states have now signed the TPNW and 32 have ratified it. The Treaty will enter into force as international law when 50 states have ratified.

Janet Fenton, liaison in Scotland for ICAN said:

This is a planetary crisis – the climate emergency, bio-diversity collapse and the ever present threat of disastrous nuclear war. We urgently need a worldwide awakening and a worldwide collaborative response. While school strikers and XR are showing the way on climate, there is a global movement doing the same for the nuclear threat and tomorrow we will see the UN ban get closer. If the UK will not engage with that, here in Scotland we are getting in line, with Edinburgh and Renfrewshire councils, and most of our MPs and MSPs. We can all support the TPNW individually by challenging our banks and pension funds not to invest in nukes (or fossil fuels), and we can call out the outrageous transport of atomic warheads on our roads. We must take every chance to act in a world groaning to be free of the threat of extinction.”

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Don’t Bank on the Bomb Scotland: “Scottish LA pension funds bankroll nuke manufacture.”

Today the nuclear weapon divestment campaign Don’t Bank on the Bomb Scotland launched it’s new report on investment in nuclear weapon manufacture by Scottish institutions, including local authority pension funds.

Full report is here

The story has been reported by the Sunday National.

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