The Bishop of Coventry, Christopher Cocksworth, has called on the government to engage with the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons during an exchange in the House of Lords this week.
The Treaty, which has now come into legal force and bans nuclear weapons under international law in the same way as chemical and biological weapons, has so far been ignored by the UK alongside the other eight nuclear-armed states, which being supported by 130 states at the United Nations late last year.
During the exchanges Bishop Christopher called on the government to attend the first states-parties meeting, expected to take place later this year, as observers. Sweden and Switzerland have already agreed to do so. This call was echoed by Baroness Christine Blower, but Lord Ahmad chose not to address that point, instead restating the government’s opposition.
Baroness Sue Miller also raised the issue on investment policy in light of the Treaty, which will place nuclear weapons in the category of “controversial” weapons. This could lead to institutions changing their investment policies, something Christian CND has been calling for alongside others in the Nuclear Weapons Financing Research Group.
We are thankful for the Bishop of Coventry raising this issue in the House of Lords and for the continued support for the Treaty of many in parliament.