Towards a nuclear-free Wales

IssueDecember 2021 - January 2022
News by Bethan Sian

This year marks the 40th birthday of CND Cymru. The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) was founded in 1957 and the Welsh Council for Nuclear Disarmament was established in 1958. However, the need for an autonomous national Welsh branch of CND was brought on by the intensification of the Cold War at the end of the 1970s.

That’s when the Soviet Union began deploying intermediate-range SS-20 nuclear missiles and NATO announced its decision to locate cruise and Pershing II land-based nuclear missiles in Western Europe by 1983. Europe became the new battlefield of the Cold War, a new wave of protest was born and CND Cymru was founded in 1981.

Its first major achievement was quick to come. Following campaigns persuading each of the then eight Welsh county councils to pass Nuclear-Free Zone motions, the ‘Nuclear Free Wales’ Declaration was signed on 23 February 1982.

Wales became the first country in the world to declare itself a Nuclear-Free Zone.

Over the last 40 years, CND Cymru has objected to preparations for nuclear war by mounting campaigns against military bases, armament factories, nuclear bunkers, nuclear power stations and arms fairs.

Although the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which entered into force on 22 January 2021, has not been signed by the Westminster government, local authorities in Wales are beginning to show their support.

So far, Bangor city council, Nefyn town council, Gwynedd county council and Merthyr Tydfil county borough council have adopted the resolutions supporting the treaty. CND Cymru will continue to promote the treaty amongst Welsh local authorities in the hope that Wales will re-affirm its nuclear-free status of 1982.

Topics: Nuclear weapons
See more of: Wales