A GLASGOW MSP will today address a major international conference in South Korea on global nuclear disarmament.

At the Global Peace Forum in Pyeongchang, Bill Kidd will outline the SNP’s long-standing opposition to nuclear weapons and reiterate calls for Scotland to become a nuclear-free zone.

The forum follows the Nuclear Weapon Ban Treaty passed by the UN in 2017 after 122 countries voted in favour. The UK has not signed it.

Kidd will join parliamentarians, anti-nuclear campaigners and experts in the field from the US, Belgium, Japan and the Philippines to discuss the development of the UN’s Agenda for Disarmament by 2030.

“At a time of such grave uncertainty across the world, Scotland is a leading voice on nuclear disarmament – leaving the UK looking badly out-of-touch with the vast majority of nations,” said Kidd, co-president of the Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament (PNND) group in Scotland.

“The SNP, the Scottish Parliament and the people of Scotland firmly reject the hosting of weapons of mass destruction on Scottish soil, and Westminster should heed those calls.

“By taking a stand on immoral nuclear weapons, we can set a powerful example to the world, influence others and help shape the global agenda. The SNP has always been clear. When Scotland becomes an independent country, all nuclear weapons will be removed as quickly and safely as possible.
“Until then, we will continue to oppose their presence in Scotland and support the global fight for nuclear disarmament.”

Kidd’s involvement in the forum has been praised by Scottish CND who have challenged the UK Government to sign the treaty.

“We welcome a senior parliamentarian engaging in this and frankly more people should be following his example,” said chair Arthur West.

“Our view is that the treaty is a very important development and gives us hope for moving towards a nuclear free world.

“In terms of our priorities one of our main thrusts is the Scrap Trident campaign but we are also working hard on raising awareness of the treaty. The UK Government should be co-operating with that treaty.”

West added: “People sometimes say to me they are not in favour of unilateral disarmament but this a multilateral treaty to ban the production, stockpiling and development of nuclear weapons. The position we are in now is that countries are ratifying it through their parliamentary processes but the UK Government is not cooperating with it at all.”

In 2016, Kidd’s PNND efforts were recognised as part of a Nobel Peace Prize nomination.

It noted that Kidd “moved the Scottish Parliament to vote overwhelmingly in favour of banning nuclear weapons from Scotland”.