United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons ratified but UK government is still refusing to engage with the treaty
2021 got off to a positive start when the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) was ratified.
Newcastle Quakers were just one of the many Meetings who displayed a banner to celebrate the day on 22 January. Local Friend Sue Bennet, a longtime peace campaigner, told the Friend: ‘My hope is that it raises general awareness about the treaty so people might google it.’
Quakers in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough also held a special online celebration to mark the occasion. Months later, North Wales Friends were ‘overjoyed’ when Bangor City Council became the first Welsh council to support the treaty after Quaker lobbying. The council passed the motion on 26 April – the thirty-fifth anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster – following pressure from the Nuclear Weapons Group, formed by North Wales Quakers and other campaigners.
David Mellor, from Colwyn Bay Meeting, told the Friend that the group called on the government to ‘reconsider its recent announcement to increase the level of Trident warheads and listen to public opinion that wants to see reductions, rather than increases, in our nuclear weapons arsenal’.
Philip Austin, from the Northern Friends Peace Board (NFPB), said: ‘Friends have been involved with a number of these successful efforts, such as in Bangor, Leeds and Lancaster’.
According to International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), there are currently eighty-six signatories and fifty-seven state parties. The UK government is still refusing to engage with the treaty.
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