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Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Transatlantic Hopes Focus on First Meeting of Nuclear Ban Treaty

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Diplomats and parliamentarians from across the world are preparing to travel to Vienna for the First meeting of States Party (“1MSP”) to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) – and Scotland is no exception.

The Treaty, adopted by overwhelming vote at the UN in 2017, entered into force in January 2022 and has already acquired the signatures of 80 states and has been formally ratified by 62, the latest being Guatemala on the 13th June.

The 1MSP meets on 21st to 23rd June but the week of events also includes a parliamentarians conference, a conference of the humanitarian impacts of nuclear weapons and a campaigners conference.

Bill Kidd MSP met with Canadian Senator Marilou MacPhedran on the 13th June to discuss the upcoming 1st MSP.

Bill Kidd MSP said:

“Senator McPhedran and I look forward to strengthening the Scottish Canadian joint efforts towards nuclear disarmament, and will be proactively engaged in the 1st MSP meeting at the United Nations, Vienna, next week.

“We intend to amplify the voices of the majority of Scots and Canadians who are strongly opposed to nuclear weapons.”

Along with Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, both parliamentarians have signed the ICAN Parliamentarian Pledge to support the TPNW and they will be representing their countries, Canada and Scotland, which both have populations strongly in favour of nuclear disarmament.

70% of Scottish Parliamentarians have signed the ICAN parliamentary pledge and in Canada there is strong support for the Ban Treaty, with 73% of polled Canadians in support of Canada joining the Treaty.

Despite the Canadian and UK governments abstaining from all TPNW deliberations in 2017, the power of civil society in action at the UN working along with the non nuclear reliant UN member states is gaining traction.

In Vienna Bill and Marilou will find civil society friends from their own and many other UN member states.

Janet Fenton, ICAN Scottish liaison, said:

“The 1MSP is the first opportunity for countries which have already prohibited any nuclear weapons activity to get together and firm up the blueprint for a nuclear weapons-free world, under the jurisdiction of the United Nations.

“It will be a wonderful day when an independent Scotland, simply by acceding to this Treaty, can be protected from any participation in a game that is insanely dangerous for everyone involved.”

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