The UK & Ireland Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) welcomes yesterday’s decision of Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council to unanimously pass a resolution supporting the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), as part of the ICAN Cities Appeal. Merthyr Tydfil becomes the fourth Welsh Council to pass such a resolution, following on from Gwynedd County Council, Bangor City Council and Nefyn Town Council. (1)
Across the world, over 400 towns, cities, counties and federal states have passed TPNW resolutions, including Paris, Berlin, Oslo, Barcelona, Washington DC, Sydney, Amsterdam, Bruges, Helsinki, Geneva, Montreal, Hiroshima and Nagasaki. (2)
In the UK, Glasgow becomes the 23rd Council to pass a resolution supporting the TPNW. Alongside the Welsh Councils noted above, the others include Manchester, Edinburgh, Leeds, Brighton and Hove, East Ayrshire, Fife, Hastings, Lancaster, Newham, Tower Hamlets, Norwich, Oxford, Renfrewshire, Bangor, Hebden Royd Town, Shaw and Crompton, Todmorden, Blackshaw Head and Shipley Town Council.
The Merthyr Tydfil resolution was supported by the three political groups on the council and was tabled by the NFLA Welsh Forum Chair, Councillor Ernie Galsworthy, It was seconded by his ward colleague Councillor Gareth Richards.
The first meeting of the States Parties of the TPNW will take place at the United Nations in March 2022, and the NFLA will support a delegation coordinated by its partner organisation, the Mayors for Peace, led by the Mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The NFLA are also cooperating with the Mayors for Peace and ICAN on a high-profile webinar on this meeting, which will take place on the 21st October. This will include a keynote speech from the President-designate of the States Parties Meeting, Alexander Kmentt. There will also be speeches from TPNW supporting states, prominent city Mayors and representatives from the International Committee of the Red Cross, hibakusha nuclear weapon survivor groups, ICAN and Mayors for Peace. (3)
NFLA are a member of the civil society Nobel Peace Laureate coalition, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), as well as being a partner with the Hiroshima and Nagasaki-led Mayors for Peace.
55 states have supported the TPNW and a further 31 states are in the process of ratifying it. NFLA, Mayors for Peace and ICAN are encouraging NATO member states who currently do not support the TPNW to observe the States Parties Conference and see the further benefits of engaging with it, at a time when there have been worrying trends around the world to increase and modernise nuclear weapon stockpiles, as well as with other weapons of mass destruction.
The ICAN Cities Appeal supporting the TPNW allows councils to make a strong statement of solidarity in supporting the urgent need to encourage multilateral nuclear disarmament and a more peaceful world.
NFLA Welsh Forum Chair, Councillor Ernie Galsworthy said:
“I am delighted that my fellow Merthyr Tydfil councillors have backed this resolution supporting the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Each resolution which has been passed by towns, cities and states around the world sends out a strong message from local government to nation states that they wish to see much more activity towards multilateral nuclear disarmament. It is encouraging to see an increasing number of Welsh Councils also becoming part of this movement, and I call on others to follow Merthyr Tydfil’s example. A world without nuclear weapons is still an important milestone we must all work for and I am very proud my fellow councillors have endorsed this resolution.”
Ends – for more information please contact Sean Morris, NFLA Secretary, on 07771 930196.
Notes to Editors:
(1) Merthyr Tydfil resolution passed unanimously on the 8th September:
“The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) won the Nobel Peace Prize for the United Nations in 2017. Sean Morris, an officer of Manchester City Council and the Principal Policy Officer of the UK and Ireland Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA), was our delegate to this event and went to Oslo to the ceremony.
“As Chairman of the Nuclear Free Local Authorities Welsh Forum, I was very pleased when Bangor City Council became the first Welsh Council to support The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons as part of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons Cities Appeal.
“The next Council in Wales to support the Treaty was Nefyn Town Council; and on 8 July 2021 Gwynedd County Council also passed a resolution to support the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. The decision was passed by 53 Councillors with no opposition.
“As the Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council representative and Chair of the Nuclear Free Local Authority, I would ask that the Council support the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.”
(2) ICAN Cities Appeal list of supporting councils
(3) Details on the Mayors for Peace European Chapter / ICAN / NFLA joint webinar preparing for the first States Parties Meeting of the TPNW, which will be held on the 21st October, will be issued shortly. It is expected to include representatives from the Irish, Maltese and Vatican Governments on why they have ratified the TPNW, representatives from the International Committee on the Red Cross and hibakusha survivor community groups who welcome the TPNW, and prominent city Mayors on why they have passed resolutions of support on the TPNW. There will also be a video message from the Mayor of Hiroshima; and concluding comments from the Chair of the Mayors for Peace’s European Chapter Josep Mayoral of Granollers (Spain) and the ICAN CEO, Beatrice Fihn.