23 January 2017
Ten weeks from now, negotiations will begin at the United Nations in New
York on a “legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons”. All
UN member states have been invited to participate. No UN member
state will wield the power of veto.
The UK Government says it is committed to multilateral disarmament but
it consistently sets its face against this process, and the media has
not picked up this important story.
Nuclear weapons are the most destructive, inhumane and indiscriminate
weapons ever created. In the scale of the devastation they cause, and
in their uniquely persistent, spreading, genetically damaging
radioactive fallout, they are unlike any other weapons. They threaten
The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) is a global
campaign coalition in all countries, working to initiate and support
negotiations for a treaty banning nuclear weapons.
The United Nations have now agreed to convene a conference this year to write
a nuclear weapons ban treaty.The negotiations will take place at UN headquarters in New York from 27 to 31 March and from 15 June to 7 July 2017, with the participation of governments, international organisations and civil society representatives.
The UN is also holding a one-day organisational session, also in New York,
on the 16th of February. All states should attend – even if they remain undecided
on whether to join the negotiations.
ICAN plans to ensure that campaigners are present for the negotiating sessions and will urge all governments to work in good faith to achieve the strongest possible treaty.
From 10 to 17 February 2017, ICAN is organising a global week of action to raise public awareness of the upcoming nuclear ban treaty negotiations and to pressure governments to commit to participating and to work towards a strong and effective treaty.
Here in Scotland, taking part in the week provides an opportunity to work with support from the international community to use all kinds of media to shame the UK government and ensure that Scotland is not misrepresented. We want the week to end with the UK at least participating in the organisation session on 16th February.
This is the best opportunity we have had for decades, so please decide today to do what you can to help to make it effective.