BEFORE Christmas, I expected to spend the first full week of the new year leading the delegation for Parliamentarians for Non Proliferation and Nuclear Disarmament (PNND) at the 10th Review Conference of the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT RevCon). This was scheduled to take place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

It would have been an opportunity for nuclear armed states to discuss their commitment to stop the spread of nuclear weapons to different countries and the increase of weapon stockpiles - both actions are called nuclear proliferation. However, unfortunately this - like many things - has been postponed due to the pandemic.

As an MSP, I convene the Cross-Party Group on Nuclear Disarmament in the Scottish Parliament - which is open to members of the public. I am also Co-President of PNND and am one of the 1600-plus legislators who have signed the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons Parliamentary Pledge to commit to support the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). The majority of MSPs have now signed this pledge. This means that if Scotland achieves independence in this parliamentary session, then we will have enough votes to ensure nuclear weapons are removed from our country.

READ MORE: Behind the ‘secret’ rise in nuclear weapons on the Clyde by UK Government

I have been an active and committed member of the Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (SCND) for many years, and I am a member of the Scottish National Party (SNP) which opposes having any nuclear weapons in Scotland – or anywhere else for that matter. A great many acronyms to attest to my belief that all nuclear weapons are an abomination and must be eliminated before they destroy the planet and life upon it!

The world faces three fundamental threats to human society – the Covid-19 pandemic, the climate crisis, and renewed international conflicts that have resurrected the threat of nuclear war.

Parliaments, governments, and civil society must rise to the challenge of these three perils that transcend borders, threaten current and future generations, and require cooperation and common security. We cannot afford further descent into bellicose behaviour and potentially escalatory conflict.

This Thursday, I will be joined by fellow MSPs in debating my Members’ Business motion in the Scottish Parliament on how we tackle these fundamental security threats. This debate is timed to mark the one-year anniversary of the new Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons entering into force, something which offers hope amidst the pandemic and the otherwise protracted nuclear disarmament deadlock.

READ MORE: Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons: How significant is the move?

The NPT RevCon could also have provided an opportunity this month for governments to work together to shift the predominant security paradigm away from reliance on nuclear deterrence and the threat or use of force. This is a paradigm which is unsustainable and cannot address the real human security issues of today. Instead, we need to move to cultivate an approach to international security which relies on diplomacy, disarmament, conflict resolution, climate protection, sustainable development and the law.

PNND was one of close to 100 international organisations that supported an open letter to the NPT and collaborated on a shared civil society statement to nuclear states. There is serious concern that previous NPT Review Conferences failed to reach consensus on some critical decisions or to act on the consensus-based decisions that were reached. The longer this process fails the less effective the NPT itself can be in either preventing proliferation or realising disarmament. Since the 2010 review, the nuclear disarmament process has been stalled, and the five NPT nuclear-armed states cannot credibly claim they are meeting their NPT Article VI obligations.

The National: Faslane

This year, when health care and the development of green solutions to the climate crisis are at the forefront of the dangers we face, the UK Government is adding to the lack of progress on disarmament by increasing the cap of the UK’s nuclear warhead possession by 40%. All these weapons are deployed from the naval base at Faslane (above) and Coulport in Scotland and this happens in complete disregard for the views of the majority of Scotland’s elected representatives at Holyrood or Westminster.

All responsible Governments, including the Scottish Government must now urgently do what they can to shift budgets and public investments from the nuclear weapons industry and instead support public health, climate stabilisation and sustainable development. They must bring an end to the arms race through halting the production of nuclear weapons.

Adherence to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) by the nuclear-armed states would mean achievement of the disarmament obligations outlined in Article VI. The TPNW is due to hold its first meeting of states parties in March this year and I will be in attendance ensuring that Scotland’s voice will be heard.

This Thursday's debate will be about both treaties, immediately after First Minister’s Question time on Thursday, and I fully expect that the Scottish Parliament will make clear its understanding that there is nae place for nuclear weapons here – or anywhere as far as Scotland is concerned.

We remember that this is the week of the anniversary of the TPNW entering into force, and since last January it is already binding on 59 countries. The TPNW provides a fully comprehensive prohibition, and as such is the key multilateral instrument in the nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament toolbox. This new treaty strengthens the non-proliferation norm enshrined in the NPT by prohibiting nuclear weapons activity, to the extent that can lead to their complete elimination. The TPNW unequivocally endorses and supports the NPT and provides an opportunity for nuclear-armed states to further implement their NPT Article VI commitments.

The TPNW is a powerful statement of the moral, political, and legal norms - including international humanitarian and human rights law - that should drive the abolition of nuclear weapons and the threat of nuclear annihilation which currently divides humanity into those with the ability to threaten mass extinction and those who live under this threat.

Scotland has no wish to be either.

Bill Kidd is the MSP for Glasgow Anniesland Glasgow Anniesland and Co-President of PNND

You can watch the debate this Thursday at 12.45pm on the Scottish Parliament TV (available through the Scottish Parliament website).