On 6th August, as the world commemorated the destruction of Hiroshima by a nuclear bomb, Ireland ratified the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. As a member of the EU it now stands in good counterbalance to the French attachment to weapons of mass destruction, as well as the occasional mutterings about the EU having its own nuclear weapons. Today’s step forward by Ireland is also a boost for those who are working for the end of the treacherous business of “nuclear-sharing”, whereby the air forces of Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany are equipped with US nuclear weapons. Then there is the UK, a recalcitrant nuclear-armed state across the Irish Sea, and a little further north a Scottish government and people who reject nuclear weapons and support the TPNW – and who derive enormous encouragement from Ireland’s assertive stance.
It would be really good if Ireland’s courageous step in supporting a Treaty that is both disliked and feared by the powerful nuclear club was more widely acknowledged and celebrated. This is why we are asking people to write to their MSPs to ask them to ask the First Minister to publicly congratulate the Taoiseach. You may find the model letter below helpful in doing so. We can make a difference with this small action. The Write to Them website is an easy way to do this
I was delighted to learn that Ireland ratified the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) on the 6th of August, the 75th anniversary of the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Ireland has been a leader in nuclear disarmament on the global stage since the 60s and has played a key role in the development and adoption of the new Treaty. The Treaty itself has acquired 83 signatures and 44 ratifications from UN member states and only needs a further 6 ratifications for it to enter into force. Once the Treaty is in force there may well be implications for the movement of nuclear weapon submarines in Ireland’s territorial waters and its contiguous maritime zone, including those deployed by the UK.
Here’s what the Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said about the ratification;
“Ireland’s ratification of the treaty reflects our deep concern about the catastrophic consequences of a nuclear explosion and the sheer impossibility of any adequate humanitarian response. This has led us, as a country, to our deep-rooted conviction that we must ensure nuclear weapons can never be used again under any circumstance.”
I am a Scot who utterly rejects the UK’s possession and active deployment of nuclear weapons and who feels utterly misrepresented at the UN by the UK’s backward stance. I don’t just want these weapons out of Scotland, I want them out of the UK and totally eliminated from the world, so Ireland’s stand for peace is a huge encouragement to me.
I think it would be great if our First Minister would write to the irish Taoiseach, thanking and congratulating him for Ireland’s courageous commitment to a world free from the threat of nuclear weapons. Can you please ask her to do so?
With best wishes,