Since the 22nd January 2021 Nuclear Weapons have been illegal under international law!
The U.N. Treaty on the Prohibitions of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) fully binds all the states that join it in comprehensive prohibitions and positive obligations for nuclear disarmament. The British government not only currently refuses to sign, but it has also pledged to increase the cap on nuclear warheads by up to 40%. As well as pitting it against international law, this places the government on the opposite side to the vast majority of the British public, 77% of whom support a total global ban of nuclear weapons and 59% of whom endorse Britain signing up to the TPNW.
Local communities have played a vital role in building support for disarmament historically, and they have a crucial part to play in putting pressure on this government to support peace.
That is why our members are building support for the Treaty across Yorkshire, lobbying City, Town and Parish councils to sign the ICAN Nuclear Ban Communities Pledge. So far, 5 City, Town and Parish councils have signed the pledge:
- Leeds City Council
- Shipley Town Council
- Hebden Royd Town Council
- Todmorden Town Council
- Blackshaw Parish Council
- Holme Valley Parish Council
Getting the Treaty into international law is a huge credit to all those who’ve lobbied and campaigned for this over the years, but we can’t afford to rest on our laurels, the real campaigning starts now. We created our ‘Nuclear Ban Communities Pledge’ to allow local elected representatives to pledge their support for nuclear disarmament. Here are some tips:
Step one: Ask your local representative to sign the Nuclear Ban Communities Pledge – they can sign the Pledge, take a photo with it and e-mail us at email@example.com.
Step two: Get in touch with supportive local representatives, especially if they have already signed the pledge, and request that they try and pass a resolution supporting the TPNW through their council body. CND have a model resolution you can use.
Step three: Report back on their responses using the form below or by getting in touch with the Yorkshire CND office.
Below is a template you can use to write to your local representatives via email or letter, asking them to support the TPNW.
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. The treaty entered into international law on the 22nd January 2021, and thus made nuclear weapons illegal. In this spirit, we are calling upon elected representatives from all of Yorkshire’s City, Town and Parish councils to sign the Pledge as a demonstration that in this country our institutions of local government seek peace.
Our world stands at a crossroads. Faced with the ravages of a coronavirus pandemic and the twin 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 local elected representatives to become our allies in the good 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 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,
This Pledge represents a commitment by Councillors to promote the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) within their elected chamber. Resolutions supporting the TPNW have been passed at all levels of local government; from town councils, such as Hebden Royd (West Yorkshire); through 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.
WHO CAN SIGN:
Any currently elected member of a civic local authority.
We, the undersigned Councillors, are deeply concerned about the grave threat that nuclear weapons pose to communities throughout the world. We firmly believe that our residents have the right to live in a world free from this threat.
Any use of nuclear weapons, whether deliberate or accidental, would have catastrophic, far-reaching and long-lasting consequences for people and the environment.
Therefore, we support the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and call on our government to sign and ratify it.