A UNITED Nations legal expert and head of Nobel Peace Prize-winning International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons is to address MSPs and the Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) Festival this week.

Executive director of International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) and UN legal expert Melissa Parke will meet ministers at Holyrood and address MSPs at the Cross-Party Group for Nuclear Disarmament on Thursday, November 2.

Parke will also attend First Minister’s Questions and listen to the debate on Bill Kidd MSP’s motion on the need for a nuclear-weapons-free zone for Europe.

Following her Edinburgh visit, Parke will head to Glasgow to participate as one of several expert international panellists addressing the climate emergency and nuclear weapons at Scottish CND’s Festival for Survival on Saturday, November 4.

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Several Scottish MPs and MSPs have signed the ICAN parliamentarian pledge to support the Treaty On the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). The executive director will highlight the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza and Ukraine, and point to how these conflicts increase the risk of nuclear escalation and exacerbate climate change and how the TPNW can contribute to eliminating both these threats.

The Festival for Survival will include input from other ICAN partners beyond Scotland, including Scientists for Global Responsibility, Nyuklia Eureka, Beyond Nuclear International, Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy as well as Scottish ICAN partners, SCND, Secure Scotland, Scottish WILPF and other Scottish think tanks and campaigning groups.

Parke said: “I fully support the aims of the Festival for Survival to be held in Scotland in November. I strongly believe the peace and environment movements need to come together for the sake of the planet. While every species will be harmed in a nuclear war, only one species can stop it! I look forward to working together.”

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Kidd added: “We welcome this chance to meet Melissa and ask her to share Scotland’s position across the world. Scottish MP’s, including members from other parties have voted against nuclear weapons and yet all the UK’s nuclear weapons are in Scotland and we do not have the power to join the TPNW.”

Parke will also meet with Scottish campaigners for the first time she since took on the role of ICAN executive director in September this year.

ICAN includes more than 670 partner organisations in 111 countries around the world.

Parke served as an ICAN Australia ambassador championing the TPNW since its adoption in 2017.