Convener calls time on nuclear weapons
The council’s convener has backed international calls for a world free of nuclear weapons.
A joint statement from mayors, religious leaders and parliamentarians from across the world was adopted in Hiroshima in August and presented to the United Nations on Saturday, the international day for the total elimination of nuclear weapons.
Malcolm Bell is a member of the Mayors for Peace organisation, which works internationally to raise consciousness around nuclear weapons abolition. It also seeks lasting world peace by working to address starvation, poverty, refugee welfare, human rights abuses and environmental destruction.
Shetland Islands Council is also a member of the Nuclear Free Local Authorities group, which works to increase local accountability over national nuclear policy, identify the impact of that on local communities, and to minimise nuclear hazards and increase public safety.
· Highlights the continuing risks of a nuclear catastrophe – whether by accident, miscalculation or intent – and the moral and security imperative to achieve nuclear abolition.
· Notes that ‘mayors are responsible for protecting the safety and welfare of their citizens, as well as for preserving and promoting cultural and environmental values and heritages’.
· Deplores the nuclear weapons budget of ‘$100 billion annually’, and says such funds could be used to reverse climate change, eliminate poverty and address other social and economic needs.
· Affirms ‘UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s description of the abolition of nuclear weapons as a “common good of the highest order”.
Mr Bell said: “I am delighted to have this opportunity to endorse the joint statement of fellow civic heads, religious leaders and parliamentarians which commemorates the 70th anniversary of the beginning of the nuclear age, and the foundation of the United Nations.”