Friday, 2 December 2011

Nuclear Weapons

Last month a group from the World Council of Churches was meeting here in Scotland to discuss nuclear weapons.

The group, which was made up of policy experts and church leaders from around the world, including South Korea, Japan, Kenya, USA, Canada, Belgium, Switzerland as well as Britain, had come to meet in Scotland in recognition of the work that the Churches, civil society and the Government here have done in speaking out against nuclear weapons. Scotland is also in the unique position of having a Parliament, Government and general public opposed to nuclear weapons yet we have to host the Trident submarines on the Clyde. Speaking about the meeting Bruce Crawford MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Parliamentary Business and Government Strategy said:

“The Scottish Government remains firmly opposed to the possession, threat and use of nuclear weapons – and the Scottish Parliament has clearly voted against the UK Government’s plans for a new generation of these costly, unnecessary and immoral missiles.

“An independent Scotland would not have such weapons of mass destruction based in its waters. Until then, the Scottish Government is committed to building Scotland's role in international peace building, and I welcome the opportunity to meet with the World Council of Churches and to work with others to take this important agenda forward, with and for the people of Scotland.

“We must work together to maximise the opportunities for engaging with international partners on matters of peace, conflict resolution and nuclear disarmament.”

The UK Government has put off any discussion of Trident replacement until after the next election, yet campaigners fear that secretly the Government is already investing in the new technology for the design of new warheads and missiles.

Nuclear weapons are inherently evil, and their possession, threat of use, or use, are so terrifying that we should all continue to do our utmost to seek their ultimate abolition.

We in Scotland have been recognised by the World Council of Churches for our campaigns on the issue. I hope the group have been inspired by what they have seen here in their week, and that the Churches may continue to work internationally for peace and reconciliation. Scotland has the opportunity to show how we can lead on peace through education and awareness raising. I will be at Faslane to protest on 31 March, at an event organised by SCANA. Why don't you join me?

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