Source: ICN/Pax Christi/Pressenza
Manchester has become the first European city to unanimously pass a resolution supporting the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
The resolution, besides expressing support for the Treaty, calls on the UK government to actively pursue "a verifiable agreement among nuclear-armed states to eliminate their nuclear arsenals by supporting the Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons and the 'Good Faith' Protocols within the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty."
Having been adopted unanimously at a council meeting on the 28th of November, this resolution will also be passed on to central government which is currently planning to invest 205 billion pounds (230 billion euros) in a new Trident missile system. Critics of this investment point out that in reality the money spent will far exceed this figure as all planned military expenditure has always done so historically. In times of austerity and an economically devastating Brexit on the horizon, it is clear that there are better things to spend this money on.
The resolution was promoted by the Nuclear-Free Local Authorities campaign whose chairman is Manchester councillor, Ernie Galsworthy.
Commenting on the resolution, Galsworthy said: "I am delighted to hear that Manchester City Council has unanimously passed a resolution supporting the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. I know many other NFLA members will be proud to follow their lead. Nuclear weapons are a costly and unnecessary weapon of complete destruction that the world could very much do without. NFLA is proud to work with Hiroshima and Nagasaki and many other towns and cities that call for a different form of defence policy and a new progressive form of international security. Over two thirds of the countries of the world took that brave first step when agreeing to the Treaty last year. I am delighted now that the great towns and cities of the world can show their solidarity with them by passing such resolutions, as I am sure they will do over the next few months."
Pat Gaffney, General Secretary of Pax Christi welcomed the news, saying: "Pax Christi is delighted to see the lead that Manchester City are taking in supporting the Treaty to Ban Nuclear Weapons and encouraging the UK Government to sign the treaty. Such actions, part of the Nuclear-Free Local Authorities initiative are just the sort of thing that is needed - civil society grasping the opportunity to link the local with the global and offer a powerful message to Government. We are encouraging our members to look at this model and to engage their own city or town with this initiative."
The full text of the resolution follows:
Manchester City Council is a founder member and the host of the Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA), and a Vice President of the Hiroshima-led Mayors for Peace; both of which have been working for over three decades to promote multilateral nuclear disarmament.
NFLA and Mayors for Peace work with the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), which received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017 for its work in encouraging over two thirds of United Nations members to agree to the International Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). Council regrets that the Governments of the existing nuclear weapon states, including the UK, refuse to support the Treaty. Council fully supports the TPNW as one of the most effective ways to bring about long-term and verifiable multilateral nuclear disarmament.
Council also calls on the United Kingdom Government to lead a global effort to prevent nuclear war by:
• Renouncing the option of using nuclear weapons first;
• Cancelling the plan to replace its entire Trident nuclear arsenal with enhanced weapons;
• Actively pursuing a verifiable agreement among nuclear-armed states to eliminate their nuclear arsenals by supporting the Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons and the 'Good Faith' Protocols within the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Council instructs the Chief Executive to write to the UK Government to inform them of this resolution and urge them to take account of it.
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