Scottish 6 to join historic global conference to agree nuclear weapons ban treaty

Global unity building to ban weapons of mass destruction with international treaty 

SCOTTISH CAMPAIGNERS will join the global movement to ban nuclear weapons this week in New York as pressure builds on the rogue nuclear states to ditch weapons that threaten the future of life on earth. 

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (Ican) has made substantial progress in establishing a Nuclear Ban Treaty, with 123 countries backing progress towards a weapons ban last October at the United Nations. The UK was one of 38 nations opposed. 

A cross-group civil society delegation of six will represent Scotland at the June-July session on the recently published draft Treaty document. With support from over 40 states, the Treaty will have legal status and, if successful, will enter a process of ratification. 

Read more: Scottish UN mission hails “powerful” vote for nuclear weapons ban treaty

Global movements for disarmament and peace have previously focused on the use of land mines, cluster bombs, and chemical weapons, which through campaigning and legal agreements have faced added condemnation under humanitarian law. 

However, the progress of the nuclear treaty has increased the pressure on the nine nuclear weapons states who have failed to disarm - despite the pre-existing global agreement to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The USA, Russia, the UK, France, China, North Korea, India, Pakistan, and Israel all hold nuclear capabilities. 

The NPT, established in 1968, aimed to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and, under Article 6, encourages nuclear-states to negotiate towards disarmament. Yet the UK - and other states - have continued to re-arm nuclear capabilities. 

“Their presence demonstrates Scotland commitment to co-operating internationally on achieving a world without nuclear weapons.” Bill Kidd MSP

Janet Fenton, vice-chair of Scottish CND, said: “I am very happy to be going to New York with a great team of campaigners and to know that we can be effective in ensuring a strong treaty and coming home to make sure that Scotland knows about it and that the pressure on the UK Government to disarm becomes irresistible.”

Bill Kidd MSP,  Co-President of Parliamentarians for Non-Proliferation, who attended the March sessions of the conference added: "This impressive and diverse team of civil society representatives involved in attending the negotiations have performed a great service to Scotland's contribution to the upcoming UN Conference on the prohibition of nuclear weapons worldwide. Their presence demonstrates Scotland commitment to co-operating internationally on achieving a world without nuclear weapons and I wish them every success as we go forward to the launch of this historic Treaty."

The full group from Scotland attending the talks includes: Janet Fenton, Vice-Chair of Scottish CND; UNA Scotland Interns Dagmar Topf Aguiar de Mederiros, and Amy Christieson; Flavia Tudoreanu, Organiser at Scottish CND; veteran campaigner Isabelle Smith and Andy Hinton from Aberdeen and District CND.

Picture courtesy of Isriya Paireepairit

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