The UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) became binding on the states who had joined it in January 21st 2021. Despite the collective lack of cooperation by the nine nuclear-armed states it continues to grow towards becoming the new normal.
At the First Meeting of State Parties (June 2022 in Vienna), an ambitious 50 point action plan was agreed for work to embed the treaty’s provisions around the world, and much of this has been accomplished.
In spite of military spending on account of the war in Europe increasing, nuclear weapons divestment continues to attract risk-averse financial institutions. The Inter-sessional activity will be assessed and monitored at the next meeting of states parties, which will happen at the UN in New York in November. The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) will continuing to coordinate the participation of civil society, with their focus in reiterating the humanitarian basis for the TPNW. Diplomatic outreach, academic research and scientific evidence all reaffirm how the treaty complements other international legally binding agreements on weapons of mass destruction or nuclear weapons discourse.
The Scientific Advisory Group has been considering how to safely dismantle nuclear weapons and verify nuclear disarmament as well as discovering new evidence about the nuclear weapons/climate nexus. International cooperation on victim assistance and environmental remediation in lands affected by nuclear testing and in response to the disproportionate effects on women and indigenous peoples continues and is now much more widely understood. As a result it is impacting on national legislation.
The second TPNW State Parties meeting at the UN (2MSP) is open to all UN member countries to attend as observers, offering a good opportunity for those who have not yet joined to learn how the TPNW is working. The states who have joined the treaty will participate in the negotiations and civil society organisations may also get accredited to observe and even to present papers.
The UN member states have offices, or ‘missions’ in New York, close to the UN building. Diplomats working on many aspects of UN work there can be lobbied there as well as in the UN, and encouraged to participate in informal side events organised by civil society. These events provide perspectives and understandings that can be usefully shared at home afterwards.
This is where you come in.
Scottish CND is ring-fencing some funds to ensure that they are represented, and encouraging their members to contribute financially to do this.
SCND’s efforts in fundraising will be to cover costs for their own selected delegates, but whether as members of SCND, Trident Ploughshares, SWILPF, UN House, Secure Scotland or Medact, or just as interested individuals from none of these organisations, potential delegates can fundraise and prepare to ensure a strong voice from Scotland at the meeting.
Interested individuals can be delegates through an NGO with UN consultative status. Anyone who is interested and active in ICAN in Scotland may signal an expression of interest so that the Scottish delegation can make the necessary preparations in a collegial way. Use the email email@example.com to send and receive information or register an interest in getting involved. Individual campaigners may be willing to work together on preparation and fundraising.
Attending the UN as a diplomacy campaigner can be hard work but also a very rewarding experience of great value to those wishing to develop international understanding and capacity. It will cost around £1000 per person to attend and require being accredited by the UN in good time for the meeting.
If this challenge appeals, do get in touch promptly by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The nuclearban.scot website will be relaunched after the UN meeting in Vienna on the Non-Proliferation Treaty during August, with updates from that meeting, lots of new briefings and info on preparing for 2MSP in New York in November.