Wheelhouse takes strong stance against nuclear weapons

SNP MSP Paul Wheelhouse has formally supported the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) by signing the ICAN Parliamentary Pledge.
SNP MSP Paul Wheelhouse has formally supported the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) by signing the ICAN Parliamentary Pledge.

Local SNP MSP Paul Wheelhouse has joined his party’s politicians in formally supporting the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW).

He signed a parliamentary pledge, instigated by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) which commits parliamentarians worldwide to “work for the signature and ratification of this landmark treaty by our respective countries”.

Mr Wheelhouse said: “I was honoured to sign this important pledge of support for the ban treaty. This change in international law will usher in a necessary shift in bringing human rights to the forefront of the nuclear disarmament debate.

“Nuclear weapons not only kill hundreds of thousands of civilians but are also lived-through.

“They have lasting detrimental effects on families and communities of survivors (Hibakusha), many of whom saw the devastation first hand.

“I urge the UK Government to sign the UN ban treaty so they can stand with the majority of states in the world who have already taken this step.”

The Holyrood signing, which saw every SNP MSP sign the pledge as well as all Scottish Greens MSPs and three Labour MSPs, came just two weeks before ICAN receives the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo for its international nuclear disarmament advocacy.

A spokesperson for ICAN said: “The endorsement and commitment to the TPNW by a majority of Scottish Parliamentarians stands in marked contrast to the position of the UK Government.

“During the March Treaty negotiations, the UK UN Ambassador Matthew Rycroft told the Ufirst Committee at the United Nations that the UK had a clear mandate to renew its Trident nuclear weapons system. That appears to be arguable.

“The decision by so many Scottish parliamentarians to align themselves with a treaty aimed at the complete elimination of weapons at least critically undermines that mandate.”