I was encouraged that the TUC deputy General Secretary Paul Nowak told a ‘World Transformed’ side meeting at the Labour conference that workers’ jobs would be protected when Jeremy Corbyn introduces serious nuclear disarmament in his first term in office as Prime Minister (“Nowak: workers must be part of post–nuclear plan,”Morning Star, 25 Sept)
Coming after the great protest against Trident renewal at Faslane over the weekend (“Scotland steps up to oppose nuclear weapons,” 24 Sept),it is becoming increasingly clear that the public mood has turned against nuclear weapons, and nuclear disarmament is an election winning policy.
At the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York this week, an International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons has been declared for 26 September (http://www.un.org/en/events/nuclearweaponelimination/)
As the UN stresses: “Achieving global nuclear disarmament is one of the oldest goals of the United Nations. It was the subject of the General Assembly’s first resolution in 1946. After general and complete disarmament first came onto the General Assembly’s agenda in 1959, nuclear disarmament has remained the most important and urgent objective of the United Nations in this field. And it has been supported by every United Nations Secretary-General.
Yet today, some 14,500 nuclear weapons remain. Countries possessing such weapons have well-funded, long-term plans to modernize their nuclear arsenals. More than half of the world’s population still lives in countries that either have such weapons or are members of nuclear alliances.
This Day provides an occasion for the world community to reaffirm its commitment to global nuclear disarmament as a high priority. It also provides an opportunity to educate the public—and their leaders—about the real benefits of eliminating such weapons, and the social and economic costs of perpetuating them.
The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which was adopted on 7 July 2017, marks an important step and contribution towards this common goal of a world without nuclear weapons.
With Mrs May also in New York for the General Assembly on Wednesday, I wonder whether she will respect the wishes of the international community and reconsider renewing Trident for £205 billion of scarce taxpayers’ money, which is incompatible with U.K. nuclear disarmament obligations under the 1968 Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT).