We live in exciting times - not least because the Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons has been signed at the UN!
On Wednesday 20 September the Treaty opened for signature in New York and within that one day over 50 countries signed with a few also ratifying. There was also a 'signing ceremony' at the Scottish Parliament, organised by UNH, where Green, SNP and Labour politicians pledged support for the Treaty.
This is an important step towards a world free of nuclear weapons although, as the Secretary General Mr Antonio Guterres said, there remain 15,000 nuclear weapons in existence. He added 'we cannot allow these doomsday weapons to endanger our world and our children's future.'
The governments and their representatives who have yet to sign must appreciate the failure of the NPT to result in non proliferation and its failure to deliver on disarmament. That being the case, the Treaty begins:
'The States Parties to this Treaty, Determined to contribute to the realization of the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, Deeply concerned about the catastrophic humanitarian consequences that would result from any use of nuclear weapons, and recognizing the consequent need to completely eliminate such weapons, which remains the only way to guarantee that nuclear weapons are never used again under any circumstances..'
So the task really begins to pressurise the Security Council P5 and the other 4 nuclear states to come into the moral, humanitarian, legal and legitimate framework. We must start to exert pressure on the UK Government and with those in the Scottish Parliament who, currently, are unwilling to sign up to the Treaty. Let's make sure others join in and make this have an unstoppable momentum.
For further information and ideas on action please go to Scottish CND wesbite and also the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) nuclearban.scot and icanw.org. Also Reaching Critical Will (reachingcriticalwill.org) provides up to date and relevant materials.