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The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW)

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons entered into force on the 22nd of January 2021 –

meaning that nuclear weapons are illegal in TPNW states.

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (also known as the TPNW or the Nuclear Ban Treaty) is an international agreement between countries. All countries that have signed or ratified the Treaty have committed to a complete global ban on nuclear weapons, and on all activities related to their creation or use.

It has already begun to change the world.

Billions of pounds have been taken out of investments in nuclear weapons, with over 100 financial institutions completely divesting from nukes. At present, 86 countries have signed the treaty, with 66 having ratified it.

The First Member States Party Meeting for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
The First Member States Party Meeting for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, June 22nd 2022

Cities and local authorities around the world are showing their support in growing numbers through the ICAN Cities Appeal, while parliamentarians here in Scotland and worldwide stand firm in support of nuclear disarmament.

The First Meeting of States Parties

States Parties of the Nuclear Ban Treaty met at the Vienna International Centre in June 2022 to discuss and analyse the treaty’s progress thus far.

Australia and four NATO States – Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and Norway – attended as observers.

The UK did not attend, despite the fact that the UK has been responsible for untold suffering due to nuclear testing in the 1950s.

The UK’s absence demonstrates a refusal to accept responsibility in remediating the harm caused to indigenous people living in Australia and The Christmas Islands due to nuclear testing.

Article 6 of the Treaty states:

Each State Party shall, with respect to individuals under its
jurisdiction who are affected by the use or testing of nuclear weapons,
in accordance with applicable international humanitarian and human
rights law, adequately provide age- and gender-sensitive assistance,
without discrimination, including medical care, rehabilitation and
psychological support, as well as provide for their social and economic
inclusion.

Article 6, The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

The TPNW, unlike the Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT), includes details on victim assistance and environmental remediation from nuclear testing, as well as requiring deadlines for nuclear disarmament.

The Nuclear Ban in Scotland

Scotland can’t sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in its own right. However, even now, we can be guided by the principles of the Treaty and take steps to embed as much of it as possible into domestic law.

We can also prepare for a day when Scotland is able to achieve full nuclear disarmament and sign up to the global nuclear ban.

In that spirit, we call on the Scottish Government to endorse the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and agree that, if given the chance, Scotland would immediately sign it.

The majority of MSPs, as well as Scottish MPs at Westminster, have signed the ICAN Parliamentarians’ Pledge, which is a commitment to supporting and working towards the TPNW. 

If you’re a member, we encourage you to find out if your representatives have signed the Pledge. If they have, please write to them to thank them – it’s vital for MPs and MSPs to understand that this is a key issue that matters to the people they represent.

If your MP or MSP hasn’t yet signed the Pledge, please write to them and ask them to do so at once.

To discover more about the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and what it means for Scotland, visit NuclearBan.scot.

To find out about worldwide work to get rid of nuclear weapons, visit the International Campaign for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons (ICAN). Scottish CND is proud to be an ICAN partner in Scotland.