With over 50 nations having ratified the 2017 UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), as of the 22nd January 2021, Nuclear Weapons will become illegal under international law!
The TPNW will fully bind all the states that join it in comprehensive prohibitions and positive obligations for nuclear disarmament. The British government currently refuses to sign, but as soon as the treaty becomes international law it will find itself under greatly increased pressure to do so.
When governments refuse to listen or even to enter into debate, we must build our opposition via local structures of power. Resolutions supporting the TPNW have now been passed at all levels of local government; from parish councils such as Shaw & Crompton; through town councils, such as Hebden Royd & unitary authorities, such as East Ayrshire; to city councils, such as Manchester and Edinburgh. Internationally, resolutions have been passed by hundreds of towns and cities including Paris, Berlin and Washington D.C.
We want to see discussions in villages, towns and cities across the region, we want our local representatives to stand with the majority of the world in rejecting these weapons and calling on the Government to do the same. So we are asking each and every one of our members and supporters to take action now. Ask your councillor to sign the pledge to raise it in their elected assembly, it will take only a few minutes and you don’t even have to leave your home.
- Go to the Write to them website, put in your postcode
- Send your local councillors a link to our Local Councillor Pledge and ask them to sign it.
It doesn’t have to be a long letter, you don’t have to be a nuclear expert, just let them know in a paragraph why it’s important to you and ask them to take a look. All the communities that we live in (and that they represent) are targets in any nuclear conflict, it is our public money squandered on weapons of mass destruction rather than local services. Municipalities across the world are joining the resistance, why not yours?
Alternatively, you can write to the Clerk of your town or parish council, and ask them to consider putting a resolution on the Council agenda. We have prepared a draft resolution and a briefing letter to send to councillors and the Clerk. Let us know how you get on!
We attach a draft letter below that you may use:
Dear [insert name],
I’m writing to ask you to express support for the UN’s Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. This treaty prohibits nations from developing, testing, producing, manufacturing, transferring, possessing, stockpiling, using or threatening to use nuclear weapons, or allowing nuclear weapons to be stationed on their territory. With over the 50 nations required to ratify this treaty, it will now enter into international law on the 22nd January 2021, thus making nuclear weapons illegal. In this spirit, we are calling upon local Councillors from across Yorkshire to sign the Pledge as a demonstration that in our town/city we seek peace.
Our world stands at a crossroads. Faced with the ravages of a coronavirus pandemic and the twin existential threats posed to our planet by climate change and nuclear weapons, it would be easy for any human being to despair, but there is also hope. For these crises have galvanised those who are best amongst us to renew our efforts to work for something better – a new world based on peaceful co-existence, social justice, and sustainability.
I’m sure you agree that nuclear weapons have no place in our world, and that any use of nuclear weapons would cause widespread death and destruction – the International Committee of the Red Cross have said it would be impossible to respond to the use of nuclear weapons. Despite this, many countries (including the UK) are currently upgrading their nuclear weapons. This makes the world less secure.
We are asking Yorkshire’s Councillors to become our allies in the fight by signing this Pledge calling on the British Government to be the first nuclear weapon state to sign and ratify the treaty. If you’d also like to propose the resolution to your city, town or parish council, please get in touch and we can support you in whatever way you need.
If you would like to support this initiative, we would be most grateful if you could email to us an electronic copy of the signed pledge with photographs of you signing the pledge and you holding the signed pledge in front of you so that we might feature these as part of our regional campaign. The email to send these photos is firstname.lastname@example.org
I look forward to hearing from you regarding this matter.
Yours In Peace,