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Nuclear Ban - Citizen's signing ceremony

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons opened for signing on 20 September 2017, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. This was a historic moment, when heads of states and foreign ministers gathered in New York for official signatures on this groundbreaking treaty. More than 50 countries signed in the first 8 hours. 

As the UK is against this international initiative, Scotland wanted to show solidarity and support for the ban treaty and organised its own Citizens Signing Ceremony in front of the Scottish Parliament. Many MSPs signed, along with campaigners, tourists from all parts of the word or local people passing by the parliament. 

More photographs 

Motion supporting Defence Diversification passed at the TUC conference

Scottish CND have given a warm welcome to a motion passed at the TUC conference at Brighton this week.

The text of the motion is set out below .


Defence, jobs and diversification

Congress welcomes the ‘Lucas Plan’ 40th Anniversary Conference held in Birmingham in November 2016 and agrees that the Plan was an idea from which we can learn much today. 

The Plan was a pioneering effort by workers at arms company Lucas Aerospace to retain jobs by proposing alternative, socially useful applications of the company’s technology and their own skills. Forty years afterwards, we are facing a convergence of crises – militarism and nuclear weapons, climate chaos, and the destruction of jobs by automation – which mean that we have to start thinking about technology as political, as the Lucas Aerospace workers did.

However, in the four decades since the Plan was drawn up Britain’s manufacturing industry has shrunk from 25 per cent to 14 per cent of GDP, with the ‘defence’ industry now representing 10 per cent of all manufacturing. Britain cannot afford to lose any more manufacturing skills and capacity, and ‘defence’ workers are rightly concerned about the potential loss of jobs, for example if Trident replacement is cancelled. 

Scottish CND call for a diplomatic response in relation to North Korea situation

Arthur West, chair of Scottish CND has said that the increasing tensions over North Korea's nuclear and missile capabilities require an urgent diplomatic solution.

"People across the world are finding the current situation absolutely frightening.

During the Korean War in the early 1950's more than three million people lost their lives . Should war erupt again there could be an even bigger loss of life particularly if nuclear weapons are used."

"Scottish CND is strongly supporting a diplomatic solution to the current situation.

We are therefore happy to endorse the call by the United Nations General Secretary for talks involving China ,Japan, North Korea, Russia, South Korea and the US. We would also suggest that these talks give priority to establishing a North-East Asian Nuclear Weapons Free Zone."

Arthur West concluded by saying that it is also vitally important that all parties to the current dispute refrain from proactive military exercises and inflammatory and aggressive public statements.

Scottish CND statement on North Korea Crisis


The current tensions between North Korea and the US continue to give concern.

Scottish CND take a firm view that diplomacy is the best way forward.

Arthur West chair of Scottish CND said,

'Donald Trump needs to think before he speaks.

'As former US Vice President Al Gore said he needs to listen to those sensible voices who are urging diplomacy and restraint in this difficult situation.'

Ask your MPs & MSPs to sign this Pledge in support of the UN Ban Treaty

When you write your MP or MSP, here is an easy ask. Ahead of the negotiations for the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) enlisted support from 856 parliamentarians in 42 countries.

Now ICAN is seeking parliamentarians' support the new Parliamentary Pledge – a commitment to work for the signature and ratification of the treaty.

This is an ideal tool for us in Scotland to exert pressure on the UK government - who failed to participate in the negotiations - and to highlight the wall-to-wall opposition to nuclear weapons in Scotland.

Parliamentarians at Westminster or Holyrood can add their names to the Pledge by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or using the form on the link below. ICAN's website will let the world see what Scottish Parliamentarians think.

The form is here:

http://www.icanw.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Parliamentary-Pledge.pdf?mc_cid=3b0ad99bfc&mc_eid=3b378b7aa3

It's just over a month until the treaty opens for signature. Let's work hard to have a large number of parliamentarians on board by then.

Hiroshima Events 2017

Aberdeen
Aug 6th, 12 noon -2 pm - Union Terrace Gardens 
Yu Auki who lives in Aberdeen and comes from Hiroshima will be one of the speakers at the event.

Ayrshire
Aug 5th, 11 am – 12 noon - Street stall, Bridgegate, Irvine
Aug 6th, 1.30 pm - 2.30 pm - door to door leafleting session, meeting at the The Cross, Prestwick
Aug 9th, 12 noon - 12.30 pm - gathering at the Wallace Tower, Ayr. There will be short speeches, readings and an opportunity to stand in solidarity with the victims of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear weapons attacks.

Global Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapons

 

Scottish CND is delighted that on Friday 7th  July 2017 a global treaty banning nuclear weapons was passed at the United Nations in New York.
The treaty was supported by 122 countries at the United Nations Headquarters after months of talks in the face of opposition from nuclear armed states.Disgracefully the UK government did not take part in the talks.

The treaty is 10 pages long and will be open for nations to sign at the United Nations General Assembly in September.The treaty also puts nuclear weapons on the same footing as landmines, biological and chemical weapons which were banned a number of years ago.

It is really disappointing that the UK Government did not take part in these historic talks.However there is evidence to suggest that UN treaties can be effective even when some nations fail to sign up to them.The US did not sign up to the landmines treaty but has now changed its landmines policy to comply with the treaty.
Scottish CND believes that the treaty will have an impact on the behaviour of nuclear weapons states.

What about North Korea?

This is a frequent response to opening a discussion about global nuclear disarmament with people outside the peace movement. Especially in the light of recent events some people are subscribing to the idea that we ‘need’ nuclear weapons to keep us ‘safe’. A recent press release from Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) an organisation to which SCND is affiliated and which we strongly support, tackles this question head on. It explains why at a time like this a nuclear weapons ban treaty, even if everyone doesn’t immediately sign up to it, matters more than ever. The press release argues that the test firing of an ‘intercontinental ballistic missile’ by North Korea is proof positive of the need for a nuclear weapons ban treat. A summary of their viewpoint is presented below. The full press release , with contacts and  references can be found here 

The Ban is coming...on Friday

Friday is the big news day.

The United Nations is convening negotiations on “a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination”. This new international agreement will place nuclear weapons on the same legal footing as other weapons of mass destruction, which have long been outlawed, despite the absence of nuclear armed states, over 130 member states are supportive of the treaty being negotiated.

Keith Bovey RIP

We are sorry to hear of the death of  Bovey formerly a senior activist in Scottish CND. Keith made a very significant to Scottish CND and the wider Scottish peace movement.
Our thoughts are with his family at this sad time.
Funeral Arrangements:
 
Private family committal service at Corstorphine Hill Cemetery, followed by a funeral service on Monday, June 26, at the Braid Hills Hotel, Edinburgh EH10 6JD commencing at 11.30 am, to which all family and friends are respectfully invited.