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International support for nuclear disarmament in an independent Scotland

Following a reception from Scottish Government Minister for External Affairs and International Development Humza Yousaf and host MSPs Bill Kidd and Patrick Harvie at the Scottish Parliament yesterday where the former Mayor of Hiroshima and Chairman of the Middle Powers Initiative Dr. Tadatoshi Akiba (pictured) spoke, a dozen members of the international nuclear disarmament network Abolition 2000 are making a declaration in support of a “Nuclear Free Scotland” leading the way to a “Nuclear Free World” at Faslane Naval Base. (photo gallery)

Representing Clyde Naval Base Commander Commodore Michael Wareham the Base Duty Offricer will receive the Abolition 2000 Edinburgh/Faslane Declaration from Abolition 2000 member John Burroughs, Executive Director of the Lawyers Committe on Nuclear Policy. The Declaration which will be made at the North Gate of the Faslane Base at noon today, Friday 19 April, supports “the efforts of Scottish citizens and legislators to establish Scotland as a nuclear-weapon-free zone, and reject the nuclear weapons based on its territory. 

According to Alyn Ware, International Coordinator of the network Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament (PNND) the Declaration will “Affirm that nuclear weapons are unworthy of civilization and an unacceptable threat to current and future generations.” He added that it would “commend the non-violent direct actions undertaken at Faslane to expose the catastrophic threats to humanity and the environment and oppose the UK nuclear weapons” based on the Clyde.”

The Abolition 2000 network held its annual meeting in Edinburgh, before many of the representatives of NGOs head to Geneva for the Preparatory Committee meeting of the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty beginning next week. Alyn Ware said “We chose to meet in Edinburgh to support the movements for nuclear disarmament here. Scotland may be the first European country to reject nuclear weapons. That could lead to the UK being the first P-5 country to abandon its nuclear weapons, a step which could help pave the way for the global abolition of nuclear weapons.”

The presentation of the Declaration to the Base Commander's representative was the culmination of a week of campaigining against nuclear weapons in Glasgow, Edinburgh and at Faslane which began with the Scrap Trident demonstration in Glasgow and continued on Monday with the Big Blockade.

Amongst the conference delegates who visited Faslane were Aaron Tovish, Executive Director ot the Mayors for Peace 2020 Vision Campaign  Jackie Cabasso, Executive Director of the Western States Legal Foundation  and Susi Snyder, Nuclear Disarmament Programme Leader for IKV Pax Christi in the Netherlands. 

Abolition 2000 is a network of over 2000 organizations in more than 90 countries world wide working for a global treaty to eliminate nuclear weapons. Faslane Naval Base is homeport to the UK's Trident nuclear weapons system and was the scene of the Scrap Trident protest Monday when 45 protesters were arrested for blocking the entrances. 


Abolition 2000 Edinburgh/Faslane Declaration

From a Nuclear Free Scotland to a Nuclear Weapon Free World

The participants of the Abolition 2000 Annual Assembly,
held in Edinburgh on April 17-18 2013:

1.     Affirm that nuclear weapons are unworthy of civilization, an unacceptable threat to current and future generations, subvert the cooperation required to address genuine security issues of the 21st century and squander the resources required for a sustainable future;

2.     Reaffirm our commitment to achieving the global abolition of nuclear weapons through negotiations for a nuclear weapons convention;

3.     Support the establishment of nuclear-weapon-free zones in homes, workplaces, cities, nations and regions as measures to delegitimize nuclear weapons, build security without nuclear weapons and pave the way for the whole world to be a nuclear-weapon-free zone;

4.     Welcome the regional NWFZs established in the Antarctica, Latin America and the Caribbean, South Pacific, South East Asia, Africa and Central Asia.

5.     Support actions to establish additional regional NWFZs in the Arctic, Middle East, North East Asia and Europe;

6.     Commend countries that formerly possessed, hosted or welcomed nuclear weapons in their territories, but have now rejected them – including Belarus, Greece, Kazakhstan, New Zealand, South Africa and the Ukraine;

7.     Support the efforts of Scottish citizens and legislators to establish Scotland as a nuclear-weapon-free zone, to reject the nuclear weapons based in its territory, and to codify this in legislation or constitution;

8.     Commend the non-violent direct actions undertaken at Faslane to expose the catastrophic threats to humanity and the environment posed by the UK nuclear weapons based there;

9.     Express outrage at the $100 billion per year squandered on nuclear weapons while basic human needs and environmental protection measures are unmet;

10.Call on parliaments to divest public funds from corporations involved in the nuclear weapons industry (as has been done in Norway and New Zealand), and for citizens to close any accounts they have in banks that invest in nuclear weapons corporations;

11.Believe that the growing movement in Scotland to remove the United Kingdom’s nuclear weapons from their home-port in Faslane, the public support in the UK for a nuclear weapons convention, and the absurd costs of maintaining nuclear weapons, make this an opportune time for the UK to abandon plans for Trident renewal, rescind nuclear deterrence, and join negotiations for global nuclear abolition;

12.Highlight the new diplomatic opportunities for nuclear abolition provided by the Open Ended Working Group established by UN General Assembly Resolution 67/56, the High Level Meeting of the UN General Assembly on Nuclear Disarmament (scheduled for September 2013) and the series of conferences in capitals on the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons which began in Oslo in March 2013 with the next conference in Mexico;

13.Affirm the important role of civil society, within the diplomatic meetings and in complementary initiatives, to contribute to the negotiations for nuclear abolition.

This declaration was released by Abolition 2000 at the Faslane Peace Camp, Scotland on April 19, 2013. 





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