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.”