Draft Resolution for councils on the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons:
Is deeply concerned about the grave threat that nuclear weapons pose to communities throughout the world, including ours. Any use of nuclear weapons, whether deliberate or accidental, would have catastrophic, far-reaching and long-lasting consequences for people and the environment.
Firmly believes that our residents have the right to live in a world free from this threat.
Recognises the necessity of creating a nuclear weapons free world.
Consequently, declares its unequivocal support for the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, a treaty adopted by 122 nations in July 2017. This Treaty once ratified will result in a complete prohibition on developing, testing and using nuclear weapons.
Is disappointed that the United Kingdom government has refused to sign or ratify this landmark treaty.
This Council resolves to write to:
The United Kingdom government urging it to sign and ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, thereby joining the global majority of countries opposed to nuclear weapons.
Local Members of Parliament urging them to press the UK Government to sign and ratify this Treaty.
The briefing paper/letter below can be adapted to suit your locality:
I am writing to you [on behalf of xxxxx group] to request your support, and that of the Council, for a resolution calling upon the UK Government to sign and ratify the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
Nuclear weapons, like climate change, represent an existential threat to humankind. Climate change multiplies the potential for conflict over resources such as land, drinking water and food reserves, and increases the pressure to migrate. Political collapse, in turn, leads to extremist leaders gaining control over nuclear weapons, which poses a risk in regions where there already is political tension. There are still almost 14,000 nuclear weapons, held by nine states. Nuclear weapons would cause catastrophic consequences if used, by accident or design; the impact on humanity, all other living creatures and our environment would be devastating and irreversible
The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was adopted by 122 nations at the United Nations on 7 July 2017. 81 member states have since signed the treaty and 45 have formally ratified it. Once 50 member states ratify the treaty, it will become international law. Like treaties banning chemical, bacteriological and biological weapons this treaty would outlaw the production, possession or use of nuclear weapons. Unfortunately to date, the nine nuclear weapons states, including the UK, have refused to sign the Treaty.
As civilians are the main victims of nuclear weapons, councils are in a unique position to speak out against their municipality being a target and local authorities across the world, from Sydney to Berlin, have passed special resolutions calling upon their national government to get on board with public opinion and sign the Treaty; Barcelona being the latest. Council and public pressure in this country will make it more likely that the British government will eventually sign the treaty.
So we are asking you to support a special resolution at a future meeting of the Council calling on the UK Government to sign this Treaty. Passing such a resolution would be a hugely symbolic act in this the 75th anniversary year of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings.
A copy of the resolution is attached to this letter.
Hebden Royd Town Council was the first Town Council in the UK to pass a similar resolution, and Blackshaw Parish Council recently did the same. We hope that this council will be able to join them.
Thank you for reading this letter and the attachment, and thank you in anticipation of your support.
More information about the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons can be found at
More information about the links between nuclear weapons and climate change can be found here https://www.pressenza.com/2019/09/nuclear-weapons-and-climate-change/