As the campaign to bring the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons into force moves to the city-level with ICAN’s Cities Appeal, especially in nuclear weapon states and their friends, the City of Manchester in the UK, famous for its football teams and music which has inspired generations, has passed a resolution to support the Ban Treaty.
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 whose thus-far antiquated militaristic position is leading the country to invest 205 billion pounds (230 billion euros) in a new Trident missile system. Critics of this investment such as CND 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.”
Sara Medi Jones, Acting General Secretary of CND, said, “Resolutions like this one are essential for enabling local authorities to voice their communities’ legitimate concerns over the threat caused by nuclear weapons, and places the necessary pressure on states to join this crucial nuclear ban treaty.”
Beatrice Fihn, executive director of ICAN said on twitter:
Very excited to hear that the city of Manchester has joined the ICAN Cities Appeal by supporting the #TPNW and calling on the UK government to join the treaty! 💖 #icansave #manchester pic.twitter.com/j1bSeWNszl
— Beatrice Fihn (@BeaFihn) November 28, 2018
The full text of the resolution is as 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.