A draft of the ground-breaking UN Nuclear Weapon Ban Treaty, arising out of the first session of the negotiation conference in March this year, which was attended by the representatives of 132 nations is now publicly available.

The Conference arises from two main sources and has the support of the overwhelming majority of the UN member states. One source is the growing awareness worldwide of the catastrophic humanitarian effects of nuclear weapons, as underscored by declarations from the International Red Cross and Red Crescent that even a regional exchange of nuclear weapons would mean a disaster beyond any human remedy1. The other is the growing impatience among non- nuclear weapon states with the failure of the nuclear-armed states to make progress on Article 6 of the Non-Proliferation Treaty which obliges them to make genuine progress towards complete disarmament.

The Treaty will follow the pattern of the treaties banning other weapons, such as landmines and chemical weapons. Like these it will not require ratification by all UN states to be effective. Prior to the vote at the UN last October the US, in leaked letter, warned its NATO allies not to support the process since a completed treaty would impose significant restraints on the ability of the US to maintain their nuclear posture.

The nuclear-armed states have boycotted the talks and the US and the UK have been prominent in disparaging the Treaty.

Arthur West, Chair of Scottish CND said:

“Defenders of the UK’s status as a nuclear-armed state are fond of saying that the way forward is step-by-step multilateral disarmament. By completely boycotting these multilateral talks the UK has shown that mantra to be wholly specious. We are particularly conscious of this in Scotland since, if we were independent, we would be playing a full and enthusiastic part in the negotiations, instead of being completely misrepresented as at present. Above all, the Treaty will put nuclear weapons globally in the moral category to which they belong, as hideous and barbaric weapons that bring shame on their promoters and possessors.”

Contact: Arthur West 07826127759 Janet Fenton 07795594573 for more info

Full background at http://www.icanw.org/updates/

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