On 21 December, the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Spanish Parliament adopted a resolution welcoming the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) and recognising it as an effort to move towards peace, security and disarmament.
The resolution was adopted with 20 votes in favour, 14 against, and 1 abstention.
«The Congreso de los Diputados urges the Spanish Government to:
- Welcome the approval of the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons passed in 2017 and that will enter into force shortly, as an effort to move towards peace, security and disarmament.
- To continue working, in the framework of the multilateral international organizations of which it is member, as well as in the framework of the bilateral relations with other States to contribute to the nuclear disarmament process, as it has been doing through its participations in the Stockholm initiative and in the framework of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. » (Unofficial translation)
“This is a welcomed step by the Spanish parliament, and as we know there’s a lot of support amongst the Spanish people for joining the treaty we look forward to working with the Spanish government to take additional steps in this direction” said Jordi Armadans of Fundipau, an ICAN partner organisation in Spain.
This resolution comes only a week after the NATO headquarters issued a statement rejecting the Treaty, riddled with mistakes and deliberate misrepresentations. It shows that despite pressure from NATO headquarters, national views on the treaty differ.
“There is an attempt by NATO officials to portray the alliance as unified in its support for weapons of mass destruction, but the fact is that many member states of NATO are not fully onboard with such policies,” says Beatrice Fihn, Executive Director of ICAN. “This resolution from the Spanish parliament shows that the TPNW has a lot of support, both from the public and from politicians.”
In addition to the parliament resolution, three former Spanish foreign ministers – Ana Palacio, Javier Solana and Carlos Westendorp – co-signed an open letter in September 2020 calling on current leaders to “show courage and boldness – and join the treaty”. Solana is also a former secretary-general of NATO. Several cities including Barcelona, have also urged the Spanish government to sign and ratify the treaty.
This momentum is reflected in other NATO states like Belgium, where the new Belgian government declaration adopted in november includes a new and positive approach to the TPNW, and a recent poll shows that 77% of Belgians support joining the treaty, and 66% favor Belgium being one of the first NATO states to sign the treaty and stand up to pressure from the United States.
photo: Rodney | Flickr | CCBY2.0