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Boost for Peace in Calderdale

Wednesday, 26 August 2020

Boost for Peace in Calderdale

Photo: Judith Baron

Peace activists in the Calder Valley received a boost to their campaign this week when Blackshaw Parish Council became the latest local authority to formally pledge support for a global ban on nuclear weapons. A resolution was passed at the Council meeting on 24th August stating support for the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

The Treaty is currently passing through the United Nations, having been ratified by 44 member states. Once fifty states have ratified the Treaty, it will prevent the possession of nuclear weapons. 

The UK government, along with other nuclear weapon states, has refused to sign or engage with the Treaty despite paying lip service to a desire for peace and multilateral disarmament. 

Members of Calder Valley CND for Peace and Justice have joined a worldwide campaign in civil society to encourage cities, states and local authorities to pledge support for this landmark Treaty, and thereby put pressure on their national governments to do the same.

Michael Prior from Hebden Bridge and a long-time member of CND commented, “The vast majority of people across the globe want to see a world free of nuclear weapons. Yet as we speak our government is spending £205 billion on a new Trident nuclear weapons system. It's morally reprehensible to spend any money on weapons of mass destruction at ANY time. But to waste billions on weapons which the Treaty will soon outlaw, at a time of great uncertainty during this pandemic, just looks unbelievable.

"We can all think of much better uses for £205 billion, and we're really pleased that councillors in Blackshaw agree with us on this”

Val StevensCalder Valley CND for Peace & Justice are hoping that other local councils in Calderdale will join Hebden Royd Town Council and Blackshaw Parish Council in adding their voices to the pressure for disarmament by signing the pledge of support for the Treaty. 

This campaign is one of a number of activities that the group have managed to continue during the period of lockdown.

Pictured right is Mayor of Hebden Royd, Val Stevens (Photo: Judith Baron), speaking at a socially distanced event to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing held in Calder Holmes park earlier this month.

Val Steven's full speech can be seen here.