A message from Karine Polwart came in on the Nae Nukes Day, it was good to know we were in her thoughts – and Sylvia Mc Gowan chose to sing “Better Things”,the song Karine wrote and gifted to Scotland’s For Peace about Trident replacement and so her spirit was very much in the air, and I remembered her performance at Celtic Connections the day Donald Trump was inaugurated.


But the 22nd was not a day for politicians though several were there as citizens of the Scotland they chose to represent. There were the international campaigners many from the other nuclear-armed states which, like the UK have chosen to ignore the new Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) adopted last year at the UN. They came to support Scotland in standing firm in the facthistle icane of the UK’s intransigence, and to make it clear that it is not Scotland that holds a minority, out-of-step view, but the UK’s government at Westminster. And there are plenty who believe that Scotland’s view must prevail if we are to survive. A celebration, albeit around a sombre topic. Continue reading “REFLECTING ON THE NAE NUKES RALLY”


Calendar of Events draft 3.jpgin addition to the Scottish CND demonstration on the 22 September at Faslane, a programme of meetings has been put together by the wider peace movement in Scotland to ensure that when our international visitors are here, we can all have real and useful dialogue to empower our shared effort to use the TPNW to end nuclear terrorism Download the programmeNAENUKESProgramme-1


Dr Rebecca Johnson, one of the women who took part in last month’s historic women’s walk into the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) which separates North and South Korea is bringing the Nobel Peace medal to the Scottish Parliament where she will talk about the upcoming summit in Singapore between Trump and Kim Jong Un.

The summit taking place in Korea will have the attention of the world and could be another turning point for progress on global nuclear disarmament. The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) won the Nobel Peace Prize last year for its contribution to the adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) and is focussing on ensuring that the implications of the treaty are well understood by those across the world who are watching and listening to the diplomats and the heads of state.

In Singapore this week, ICAN Executive Director Beatrice Fihn, who visited the Scottish Parliament in March, will be joined by Akira Kawasaki from the Japanese NGO, Peace Boat, which belongs to ICAN’s core International Steering Group to issue a call for global nuclear disarmament, at a special news conference on Monday, one day ahead of the historic summit. Other leading figures from ICAN will be advocating for it around the world.
ICAN states that the summit should lead to North Korea’s denuclearization, and that it should serve as the first step for the US, and all other nations that possess nuclear weapons, to disarm.

The First Minister of Scotland sent a message to the UN Conference where the Treaty was negotiated in support of a sucessful outcome.Scotland’s opposition to nuclear weapons is seen by many supporters of the TPNW as a significant wedge that can be driven into the UK’s nuclear strategy.

Dr Rebecca Johnson is the founding president of ICAN in Geneva and serves on ICAN’s International Steering Group. She is the Director of the Acronym Institute for Disarmament Diplomacy In addition to the Women Crossing the DMZ, she participated in meetings in Seoul in early April as a member of the International Panel on Fissile Materials and then spent 2 weeks at the UN in Geneva attending the NPT meeting held in May.

She is an expert on nuclear testing, authored the definitive book on how the CTBT was achieved, “Unfinished Business” and was an official scientific observer at on site inspection exercises at the former Soviet test site in Kazakhstan. She was senior advisor to Dr Hans Blix on the International WMD Commission, 2004-06, and holds a PhD in multilateral diplomacy and treaty-making. In addition to her academic and diplomatic roles, Rebecca is a former Greenham woman and spent a year in Scotland as part of the Faslane365 campaign.

Along with campaigners from Korea, Russia, France, the US, the Netherlands, Israel, Iran and Germany, she will be in Scotland at Scottish CND’s Nae Nukes Rally at Faslane on the 22nd September to amplify Scotland’s challenge to the UK Government to get on board with the TPNW.

To arrange an interview with Dr Johnson, please call Janet Fenton 07795594573


Scottish CND, one of ICAN’s partner organisations in Scotland, is inviting international campaigners to join them in a march and rally at Faslane, the UK’s nuclear weapons base sited in the heart of Scotland The aim is to to highlight the strength of support from many UN member states for Scotland, a country hosting nuclear weapons against its wishes and excluded from signing the Ban Treaty despite longing to do so.

Bea at Faslane

We want as many people as possible there to show the level of international support from ICAN campaigners everywhere, so that we can present a clear challenge to the UK Government to recognise the TPNW, decommission Trident renewal immediately and sign the Treaty.  

top of nnPeace Rally will take place at Faslane on the 22nd September 2018 and we will welcome campaigners from all of the nuclear armed states as well as from non nuclear countries, and of course we are expecting to see campaigners from every part of the UK converging on the site to make the message clear that its time for the UK to wake up and wise up.

The plan is to assemble at the Faslane Peace Camp, which has been home to disarmament campaigners protesting the base since 1982, at the South gate of the base. Then we will walk together from there to the main entrance at the North Gate. We can creatively decorate the fence with papers, ribbons and messages of hope and we can raise our banners and sing as we walk.

At the North Gate, we are planning a party atmosphere to celebrate the TPNW and to communicate our peaceful intentions to build a nuclear weapon free world. There will be music, food and drink (but no alcohol please!) and a stage and PA to ensure that everyone, including at least some of those on the other side of the fence, can hear what we have to say. International representatives will speak about how the campaign is faring in the other nuclear armed states as well as some input from those who have already committed to the treaty.

Unfortunately we cannot cover the costs of bringing you all here, but we can promise you that you will see some of the most beautiful parts of Scotland, you’ll get a great welcome and basic but warm hospitality. We will organise convergence centres so that people can find places to sleep, eat and get to know each other, and there will be some home stays available for those who need that. We are also hopeful that we can plan some smaller meeting and activities for international exchange during the week before and/or after so let us know if you could be in Scotland and are interested in helping us to do that

In 2006 the Faslane 365 campaign meant that the base was blockaded most days for a year with different groups taking part. Some of you were part of that, and although this Peace Rally is not planned as a day to risk arrest, the 22nd September can reflect some of the creativity that went into those actions, and like the Hiroshima lanterns that have sailed out and along the waters, take our message gently but clearly across the world.

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There are more details at our briefing and the face book event will be updated with news. There is in addition an interactive face book page for anyone who wants to make arrangements directly with other campaigners, although this is mostly local/UK traffic. You can see it here, and you can also see updates on twitter, mostly from @scraptrident @scottishcnd The email contact is or directly to me @janetfenton or 




Achieving the Possible – a Weapons of Mass Destruction Free Zone in the Middle East:

Vision, Process, the United Nations General Assembly and the 2018 Round Tables

 UN House in Scotland is to offer support for an initiative towards a Weapons of Mass Destruction Free Middle East and for a Scottish Government contribution to this. The purpose is to ensure that this topic, and a way forward on it is on the agenda at the 2020 Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference. The initiative is under the care of British American Security Information Council (BASIC), and led by individuals from within the Regiont.

Scotland’s part (in the first instance) is to facilitate and host an international closed door meeting under the Chatham House rule in a neutral location in January 2018.

Following the lack of progress on work for a WMD Free Zone in the Middle East at the 2010 NPT, in November 2013, the Israeli Disarmament Movement (IDM), alongside British and American Security  Information Council (BASIC)  and PAX,with the financial support of Green Cross, held a round table in Tel Aviv to consider possible ways forward. The objective of this first round table was to learn more about the language, rhetoric, thoughts, and even the fears of Israeli officials and others when it comes to this topic.

The round table was held with Israeli and international experts, Israeli foreign ministry staff, representatives of the Finnish and Swiss embassies, the Norwegian ambassador, and the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), a think tank with close ties to government staffed by former generals and government ministers, diplomats, and academics. This was the first time civil society had hosted such an event in Israel.

After a second, shorter round table event in Washington DC a year later, it was suspected that the main cause of the stagnation in the talks towards a WMD Free Zone is lack of good will and an inability to consider suggestions because of who was making them, rather than their actual content. It was decided to address this through an exercise of visualising what the region would look like, and how behaviours would change, if the treaty already existed. To this end a draft proposal for a treaty banning WMDs in the Middle East was written, without attribution, so that the ideas it contained could be considered on their merits regardless of where they came from or who had made them. This gave an opportunity to consider and describe the possible solutions to the difficulties usually aired, thus highlighting the need for dialogue instead of focusing on the obstacles.

A skeleton draft treaty, and an outline for an organization that could operate in the zone – The Middle East Treaty Organization (METO) – was delivered to international and regional experts during 2017 for discussion. Since any venue within the Middle East could be seen as holding a perspective, discussion should taking place outside the region was helpful. The UN sponsored meetings toward the negotiations for the new treaty on nuclear disarmament during 2017 provided several opportunities for this.

Bill Kidd, MSP and Co-President of Parliamentarians for Non proliferation and Nuclear Disarmament, was active at the negotiations for the Nuclear Prohibition Treatyand has actively presented a Scottish perspective to diplomats and other NGO representatives at the Non Proliferation Treaty Conference Review and its Preparatory Committee meetings. He has hosted and participated in meetings and events for the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) at the Scottish Parliament. Scotland and the Scottish Government could usefully contribute to METO process.

Bill and I attended a meeting with BASIC, the Irish delegation at the TPNW Conference, the Israeli Disarmament Movement and the American Iranian Council in New York in July, at which the possibility of Scotland hosting the first round table outside of the region to consider the draft “Achieving The Possible” Treaty was welcomed. The Scottish Government cannot fund the event proposed, but it has given its imprimatur to the round table as a possible way forward in a seemingly intractable situation, and offers support and interest as far as is compatible with its obligations under the Scotland Act.

The combination of civil society organisations and both retired and active diplomats along with academics working together has been a highlight of the UN’s success in negotiating the TPNW and this is reflected in the process that is being adopted here. “Achieving The Possible” has the purpose of stimulating a positive, constructive conversation and keeping alive at the First Committee the vision of a WMD Free Zone in the Middle East. The draft treaty text is an initial basis to structure an inclusive and principled discussion of what may be possible once the political will is in place. The draft is not intended for negotiation but as a stimulus to replace indefinite debates about why progress can never happen with positive, constructive suggestions.

The Irish delegation at the United Nations General Assembly in New York hosted a Side Event for diplomats there in October which I attended with a remit from the Scottish Government. (thanks to a modest grant specifically for this purpose from Nuclear Non-proliferation Research allowed Scottish civil society observation at the event for the purpose of reporting back to the Scottish Government and to possible funders and other interested parties). It explained, launched and promoted the process of closed-door round-tables to take place outside the Middle East during 2018 where the draft will be developed and redrafted by high level regional experts with support from other diplomatic and academic experts. Speakers included Sharon Dolev of the Israeli Disarmament Movement, and Emad Kiyaei, Iranian policy adviser.

The Scottish Government is offering support for a first  2018 round tables scheduled for January , as it is seen as somewhere with a Parliament and Government that is interested in international peace and security. It is not at this time a UN member state and therefore does not have policies or any political agenda on security doctrines in the Middle East.

The task, in January 2018, is to provide support, and a neutral and safe space for delegates to map and address the obstacles and strengths that they see inthe draft treaty.

The Edinburgh-based UN House – established in 2012 through cooperation between civil society UNA Scotland/Edinburgh Branch and UN Agencies UNITAR, CIFAL, UNESCO and UN Women – has supported awareness raising on nuclear non proliferation, peace, security and disarmament. In 2013 UNA Edinburgh was instrumental in organising an International Conference on a Middle East Free of Weapons of Mass Destruction with speakers from Israel and Palestine,and high level diplomatic presence from Finland and Russia. UN House has an ongoing relationship with the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom in Scotland and is a partner organisation in ICAN and a member of the  Scottish Parliament Nuclear Disarmament Cross Party Group. It provides internships for young graduates and doctoral students with an academic interest in international relations, peace and security.

The round table is planned to take place behind closed doors at a neutral and safe space where delegates can meet and stay, and hosting organisations can provide facilitation. Scottish Government Ministers will be invited to meet and greet participants, and the follow- up media release (without quotations or participants’ names or titles, according to Chatham House Rules) will be issued from the Scottish Government office. A Scottish Parliament reception and Burns supper cand allow appropriate cultural exchange.

The Scottish round table is a significant step towards ensuring that by the time of the 2020 NPT Review Conference, there will be enough constructive attention, and official negotiation that will ensure the states in the region do not take dramatic steps such as leaving the NPT or claiming that achieving the free zone is impossible.

During 2018 the plan to continue the work already done requires a tight timetable.

January: The Scottish round table can map perceived obstacles and review possibilities arising from the TPNW;

February: Redrafting in time for a second round of negotiations in Switzerland in March;

April: further redrafting

May: new draft treaty presented to UN members at the NPT Preparatory Committee

Over the summer a final draft, establishment of METO and plans for verification processes to be presented at the UN’s  next year’s First Committee in October. aspects of the process, but are unable to respond quickly enough to help for January.

Further info:


To celebrate with ICAN when they receive their award in Oslo on the 10th December, why not throw a wee party?scroll down for the video with special songs!

 It is a weekend when everyone can share the story of how campaigners nobelpp2across the world got the UN to write a treaty to ban nuclear weapons, a story that includes the survivors from Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the millions of people affected by nuclear weapons testing and nuclear accidents, and a chance for all the peace lovers to take an hour off to envisage the world they are working for, when nuclear weapons are finally eliminated.

 The party can take place indoors or outside, in a pub or on the street. And then we share what we do. Make banners or make cakes. Upload your pictures and tune in to the events in Oslo on line.

There will be loads coming in on Facebook and Twitter over the weekend – about the award ceremony, the parade, the concert, all part of being the NOBEL PEACE LAUREATE.

eileen.pngEveryone can take some pictures or videos and upload them on Facebook and Twitter and tell the world how you are celebrating, anytime from Friday the 8th December through till Monday 11th. Don’t forget to share with scraptrident on Facebook and Twitter and make sure to use the hashtags #nuclearban #TPNW Watch out for Scottish participation! A special song by Eilen Penman, and some funky images and some interesting locations are already in the pipeline.To get the heads up about getting active for Peace is The Prize, private message the ScrapTrident Facebook page or send an email to



The arrests of Brian Quail and Angie Zelter in the few days after the UNIMG_20170711_071311 (1) has adopted a Nuclear Ban Treaty highlights the frustration many feel at Scotland’s position as an unwilling host for Trident..

Bill Kidd MSP was at the negotiations for the Treaty when it concluded. He said,

 “There are jobs to be done now and we’re all just the people to do them. We’re going to overcome the intransigence of the nuclear weapons stnikiddglovesates and their apologists, with their playground behaviour and silly statements about never signing the Treaty.”

Trident Ploughshares (TP) is a campaign to disarm the UK Trident nuclear weapons system in a non-violent, peaceful and fully accountable manner. Disarmament camps have been taking place at Coulport since 1998.

This year, TP agreed that a camp at Coulport would take place immediately following and welcoming the adoption of the United Nations Nuclear Ban Treaty this year on the 7th July, in order to highlight the importance of the Treaty in the journey to the elimination of all nuclear weapons everywhere, to focus on the illegal and undemocratic deployment of Trident in Scotland and to remind everyone that citizen action everywhere is urgently needed.

It was here that Angie Zelter one of TP’s founders, with another TP stalwart, veteran of Scottish CND and retired classics teacher Brian Quail, peacefully blockaded the base, got arrested and have been locked up on remand until the 3rd August.

It is widely recognised within the UN that the success of the Ban Treaty Conference was not just down to the work of the governmental diplomats. Essential to the adoption of the Treaty was the work of nuclear disarmament campaigners, nuclear victims, climate change scientists and disaster response agencies, notably the International Red Cross and Red Crescent. Their input informed and directed the negotiations that led to the drafting and adoption of this important legally-binding treaty .The UK Government refused the United Nations’ request to participate in this process, and made the decision to refuse without either parliamentary discussion or consideration of the views of the devolved administrations in Scotland or Wales. Scottish civil society did what was possible to redress this, and Bill Kidd, MSP attended the Conference and gave the President of the conference a letter of support from the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon. Several Scottish MPs sent video messages of support for the Treaty to a well attended event at he Conference and these inputs were valued by the diplomats and the other NGO participants.

Upwards of seventy people took part in this month’s Coulport camp, creating an international community with people from Sweden, Spain, Canary Islands, and France taking part and sharing their understanding of how disarmament efforts are growing and what the Treaty will mean in many different places. In addition to blockades, activities included vigils at the Coulport bomb store, singing at Faslane nuclear submarine base, raising peace flags on the fence, “Town Criers” announcing the Nuclear Ban Treaty in Helensburgh, and hill-walkers challenging the MOD bye-laws that prohibit access to the Coulport hills. All of this provided opportunities for dialogue and much sharing of the Ban Treaty good news.

Two successful blockades of the entrance to the Coulport base led to the arrest of nine people, including internationals who will be going to their home countries, outside of the jurisdiction of the Scottish system before their trials. This might have been seen as a reason to refuse bail since their might be a question over their willingness to return, and the costs that would attach to extraditing them. However, two of those arrested, Brian and Angie, chose to refuse to sign an undertaking that would prevent them from remaining at the camp or peacefully and lawfully protesting at Coulport nuclear weapons store or Faslane nuclear bomb base until their trial on the charge of Breaching The Peace on the 3rd August. This was the bail condition that was set by the court under which they could be released pending their trial.

These bail conditions are not in the public interest, given the costs attached to locking the two up. Nor is it usual that such conditions should apply to individuals that present absolutely no risk of violent behaviour, The Scottish legal system is allowing itself to be politically biased in upholding the interests of the UK Government and the MOD in the prevention of citizens to protest and to demonstrate. It questions Scottish legal impartiality that they are doing so in a matter where the Scottish Government, in line with the majority of world governments, shares the views of the protesters.

The Ban Treaty will prohibit all nuclear weapons activity as soon as it has been ratified by 50 states – less than half the number which voted for its adoption, and its impact will be felt even in the UK and the other nuclear-armed states which declare that they will not sign up. There will be practical effects on their nuclear arrangements and the states outside the Treaty will be stigmatised in the same way that states choosing to utilise other banned WMD (for instance chemical weapons) are regarded as pariahs throughout the world. Going in the opposite direction, The UK Government plans instead more austerity cuts to pay for a nuclear weapon modernisation programme.

Angie questioned the police role in the arrest of the blockkaders on 10th July, reminding the officers of the Geneva and Hague Conventions and suggesting that they could refuse to arrest them as a matter of conscience and pointing out that:

Here in Scotland, there is an amazing chance to help this whole process of disarmament, and as a police force in Scotland, you have a much better chance to do that than officers in England and Wales, so if you could at least have a discussion about that, we would really appreciate that.”

It may be difficult for the Scottish Government to sign the Treaty when it is not at this time a member state of the UN. Can our distinct legal system and the legislation afforded by Holyrood be utilised to seek a way to ratify the Treaty’s terms in Scots Law? Perhaps Scottish lawyers and politicians as well as police officers could all examine their consciences with regard their part in banning weapons that could so easily bring such unspeakable suffering and environmental degradation to the world..

The 38 degrees petition calling for Brian and Angie’s release has been signed by upwards of 3000 people.

Such solidarity is not really surprising in a Scotland that so vociferously opposes nuclear weapons .If even a small percentage took to the hill, fences and gates to act directly on their support for the alleged lawbreakers, it would fill the Scottish police holding cells and the courts, and surely this possibility is increasing with every day we come closer to the 20th September and the first signatures on the Treaty.

While supporters consider this, details of how to write to the prisoners is available on TP and SCND websites, and TP stands by, ready to offer trainings in non-violence direct action, supporting activists, and legal observation of protest events.

Janet Fenton (attended the negotiations for the Ban Treaty with the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, Vice Chair Scottish CND, member or Trident Ploughshares) July 22 2017


Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapons Adopted at UN

After a decade-long effort by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), and 72 years after their invention, today states at the United Nations formally adopted a treaty which categorically prohibits nuclear weapons. Scottish CND has been a partner in ICAN since 2007

Until now, nuclear weapons were the only weapons of mass destruction without a ban treaty, despite the widespread and catastrophic humanitarian consequences across the world of their intentional or accidental detonation. Biological weapons were banned in 1972 and chemical weapons in 1992.

ICAN Executive Director Beatrice Fihn said:

“We hope that today marks the beginning of the end of the nuclear age. It is beyond question that nuclear weapons violate the laws of war and pose a clear danger to global security. It is time for leaders around the world to match their values and words with action by signing and ratifying this treaty as a first step towards eliminating nuclear weapons.”

Bill Kidd MSP, Co-President of Parliamentarians for Non- Proliferation and Nuclear Disarmament, added:

“All of the UK’s nuclear arsenal is based in Scotland, against the wishes of the Scottish Government the votes of the Scottish Parliament and the expressed will of the Scottish people. As a member of the Scottish Parliament, along with colleagues from Scottish Civil Society I am here in New York to speak up on behalf of our nation. The Prohibition Treaty will present a significant opportunity to present nuclear disarmament as a serious option on the table at international negotiations.”

The “Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons” was adopted today and will open for signature by states at the United Nations in New York on September 20, 2017. Civil society organizations, including those from the wider peace movement in Scotland, have participated in the negotiations as well as more than 140 member states of the UN

This treaty came about because  the majority of the world no longer accepts nuclear weapons as legitimate tools of war. The repeated objection and boycott of the negotiations by the UK and other nuclear-weapon states demonstrates that the treaty will impact on their behavior and stature and in changing the international view of nuclear weapons will change policies and behaviors, even in states that will not yet sign the treaty.

“Scotland’s opposition to the weapons in our country is in line with the global norm,” said Janet Fenton from the Scottish civil society delegation, “and now we have a great tool that can help us in our work to get rid of them.”

The treaty identifies obligations to the victims of nuclear weapons use and testing and to remediate the environmental damage caused.

From the beginning, the effort to ban nuclear weapons has had support of international humanitarian, environmental and disarmament organisations in more than 100 states including Scotland. Around the world, they signed petitions, joined protests, contacted representatives, and pressured governments. This year, Scottish CND established a Ban Treaty Working Group to prepare for New York.


The website which documents and reports on activities and negotiations at the UN is

Trident Ploughshares are holding a disarmament camp at Coulport to respond to the treaty’s adoption.

More information about ICAN can be found on


THREAT: Ban military preparation in the new treaty

The discussions are now focused on the second draft of the proposed treaty to ban nuclear weapons ongoing in New York, and it is going well. There are still some additional improvements that we hope can be made, and one is to address ‘threat of use.’ Many states at the negotiations have asked about incorporating a prohibition on the threat of use of nuclear weapons. One way to get this is to have an explicit prohibition on military preparations for use.

Military preparations could include refuelling aircraft, exercises in preparation for use or targeting and other fighting arrangements. These are examples of activities but are not he only ones. Any concrete or tangible activity could be included, and this has been done with the chemical weapons convention, for example. This would remove or reduce the facilities needed for general military planning and training. It would also undermine or de legitimise the nuclear weapons secret structures, and lead to a more communicative approach with more democratic accountability for military planning decisions and improved open collective approaches to military alliances. This allows a shared public understanding of how these work and what they are. It is important to remember that NATO may have a nuclear strike policy, but that policy is not entrenched in the treaty itself, and could be changed. Modifications to the planes for example, would prevent future nuclear weapons capabilities. If the ban treaty includes the prohibition on military planning, that would accelerate the change in view of nuclear weapons away from ideas of stability to an understanding that nuclear weapons are instruments of terror and instability, and this will, at last, undermine and discredit the entrenched but psychotic and dangerous concept of deterrence.

The democratic benefit of transparent and accountable practice can, at last, provide the possibility of exploring ideological differences without risking the survival of our species.