Writing for Bella Caledonia on the eve of the historic summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un on 11th June in Singapore, Janet Fenton, SCND and ICAN peace activist and campaigner, considers the possibilities for global peace. While the summit was primarily focused on North Korea denuclearizing, the responsibility is upon all the nuclear nations to follow the UN Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), which was ratified last year.
Ahead of the Singapore summit – and the forthcoming Nae Nukes mass rally at Faslane – the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) argues that the summit should lead to North Korea’s denuclearization, and that it should serve as the first step for the US, and all other nations that possess nuclear weapons, to disarm.
Dr Rebecca Johnson, one of the women who took part in last month’s historic women’s walk into the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) which separates North and South Korea is bringing the Nobel Peace medal to the Scottish Parliament where she will talk about the upcoming summit in Singapore between Trump and Kim Jong Un. The summit taking place in Korea will have the attention of the world and could be another turning point for progress on global nuclear disarmament.
The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) won the Nobel Peace Prize last year for its contribution to the adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) and is focusing on ensuring that the implications of the treaty are well understood by those across the world who are watching and listening to the diplomats and the heads of state.
In Singapore this week, ICAN Executive Director Beatrice Fihn, who visited the Scottish Parliament in March, will be joined by Akira Kawasaki from the Japanese NGO, Peace Boat, which belongs to ICAN’s core International Steering Group to issue a call for global nuclear disarmament, at a special news conference on Monday, one day ahead of the historic summit. Other leading figures from ICAN will be advocating for it around the world.
ICAN states that the summit should lead to North Korea’s denuclearization, and that it should serve as the first step for the US, and all other nations that possess nuclear weapons, to disarm. The First Minister of Scotland sent a message to the UN Conference where the Treaty was negotiated in support of a successful outcome. Scotland’s opposition to nuclear weapons is seen by many supporters of the TPNW as a significant wedge that can be driven into the UK’s nuclear strategy.
Another event planned for this campaign is the Scottish CND’s Nae Nukes Rally at Faslane on the 22nd September to amplify Scotland’s challenge to the UK Government to get on board with the TPNW.
The aim of the rally is to to highlight the strength of support from many UN member states for Scotland, a country hosting nuclear weapons against its wishes. Scotland is unique as a significant and relatively autonomous part of a nuclear-armed state which opposes its possession of weapons of mass destruction. As things stand we cannot become a party to the new UN Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons but there are lots of ways in which we can align ourselves to the Treaty. The September rally will be a fine opportunity to mark our determination to do so.
The rally will feature speakers from many countries. We really need to make this a huge event to show the level of international support for Scotland’s opposition to nukes and to present a clear challenge to the UK Government to sign the TPNW, enter negotiations and scrap their nuclear policies. We also need to re-assert our vision for Scotland as a land free of weapons of mass destruction and energetic in our support for their removal from the UK and the whole world.
Along with campaigners from Korea, Russia, France, the US, the Netherlands, Israel, Iran and Germany, Rebecca Johnson and Janet Fenton will be at the Nae Nukes Rally. Please contact SCND if you are interested in booking a seat on the bus that has been organised for people travelling from Arran to Faslane on the day.
Janet, and other speakers, will also be joining Arran CND for an Hiroshima Memorial event at Lamlash Church Hall on Sunday 5th August. See next month’s Voice for more details.