SHETLAND Islands Council has endorsed international calls to create a world free of nuclear weapons.
The council is a member of the Nuclear Free Local Authorities group and its convener, Malcolm Bell, has put his name to a joint statement from mayors, religious leaders and parliamentarians from across the world.
The statement, adopted in Hiroshima in August, was presented to the United Nations on Saturday 26 September – which was the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.
Bell is a member of the Mayors for Peace organisation, which works internationally to raise consciousness of the issue. It is also formally committed to pursuing lasting world peace by working to address starvation, poverty, refugee welfare, human rights abuses and environmental destruction.
He said: “I am delighted to have this opportunity to endorse the joint statement of fellow civic heads, religious leaders and parliamentarians which commemorates the 70th anniversary of the beginning of the nuclear age, and the foundation of the United Nations.”
The statement highlights the continuing risks of a nuclear catastrophe and calls for the annual $100 billion spent on nuclear weapons annually to instead be spent on reversing climate change, eliminating poverty and addressing other social and economic needs.
It also backs UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s description of abolishing nuclear weapons as a “common good of the highest order”.
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