SNP President Ian Hudghton has today welcomed the establishment of a UN Open-ended Working Group on nuclear disarmament, who are convening in Geneva, Switzerland this week. In taking forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations, the Open-ended Working Group is open to all states, and is a unique opportunity for governments to start working on developing the elements for a new treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons.
In response, Ian said:
"In light of the recent Iranian P5+1 nuclear agreement, and at a time when we witness nuclear proliferation in North Korea – these positive steps taken by the UN are a good signal to the world that nuclear disarmament is high on the global agenda.
I hope that this signal is also received by the UK Government, who continue to spend £100 million (€127 million) on replacing the UK's nuclear arsenal, Trident, that is unrightfully based in Faslane, Scotland.
Thousands of people opposed to the renewal of Trident are expected to take to the streets of London this weekend, underlining the strong and increasing anti-nuclear sentiment across Scotland and other parts of the UK. A clear majority of Scots are strongly opposed to nuclear weapons and favour nuclear non-proliferation both in Scotland and elsewhere in the world.
Such efforts of people from across Scotland in raising awareness of nuclear non-proliferation were recently highlighted by the nomination of Bill Kidd MSP, co-president of global group Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (PNND) for the Nobel Peace Prize.
As stated in the Resolution, the UN stresses 'the importance of inclusiveness, and welcoming the participation of Member States in the efforts to achieve a nuclear-weapon-free world'. The Scottish National Party (SNP) is resolutely anti-nuclear and opposed to Trident and we welcome this positive step in UN-led multilateral negotiations. I would therefore call upon the UK Government to participate in the Open-ended Working Group".
The General Assembly of the United Nations adopted on 7 December 2015 resolution A/RES/70/33, whereby it was decided that an Open-ended Working Group is to:
i) Substantively address concrete effective legal measures, legal provisions and norms that would need to be concluded to attain and maintain a world without nuclear weapons; and
ii) Also substantively address recommendations on other measures that could contribute to taking forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations, including but not limited to
• Transparency measures related to the risks associated with existing nuclear weapons
• Measures to reduce and eliminate the risk of accidental, mistaken, unauthorized or intentional nuclear weapon detonations; and
• Additional measures to increase awareness and understanding of the complexity of and interrelationship between the wide range of humanitarian consequences that would result from any nuclear detonation
For more information on the UN Working Group: http://www.unog.ch/oewg-ndn
For access to Resolution A/RES/70/33: http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N15/409/95/PDF/N1540995.pdf?OpenElement