Over 50 organizations urge Australia to vote yes
October 23, 2016
Organisations representing hundreds of thousands of Australians have joined the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons in a call for the Australian government to support a growing global push to prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons.
In an open letter to foreign minister Julie Bishop ahead of a vote expected in the UN this week, the 52 groups have urged Australia to “grasp this historic opportunity to outlaw nuclear weapons” and to support increasing momentum for a UN conference in 2017 to “negotiate a legally-binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons”.
The Australian government’s opposition to a ban on nuclear weapons is increasingly at odds with the majority of nations, including in our region where ASEAN nations and Pacific Island states have joined New Zealand in strongly supporting moves for a ban.
“We’ve waited a long time for the Nuclear Weapons States to fulfil their obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and they have failed,” said former independent Senator for nuclear disarmament Jo Vallentine. “It is time for Australia to do an about-turn and get on to the right side of this historic decision”. Ms Vallentine took part in a delegation delivering the letter to the Foreign Minister’s Perth office on United Nations day, Monday 24 October, before heading to the UN in New York for the historic vote.
“A 2014 Neilsen poll showed over eighty percent of Australians support a treaty banning nuclear weapons and it is time for the Australian position on this existential issue to move from No to Now”, said ICAN Australia’s Gem Romuld.
Signatories to the Open Letter comprise union, faith, women’s, public health, environment and international development organisations including the Australian Medical Association, Oxfam Australia, Australian Conservation Foundation, Uniting Justice and the Union of Australian Women, among many others.
Endorsed by 54 organisations (as at 05.01.17):Anti-Nuclear Alliance of Western Australia Arid Lands Environment Centre Australian Conservation Foundation Australian Democrats Australian Quakers Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union Australian Medical Association Australian Nuclear Free Alliance Australian Student Environment Network Beyond Nuclear Initiative Campaign for International Co-operation and Disarmament Conservation Council of South Australia Conservation Council of Western Australia Department of Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Sydney Environment Centre Northern Territory Environment Victoria Everybody for a Nuclear Free Future South Australia Footprints for Peace Friends of the Earth Australia Greenpeace Asia Pacific Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation Human Survival Project, University of Sydney Humanist Society Victora Hunter Peace Group Independent and Peaceful Australia Network Just Peace Queensland Marrickville Peace Group Mayors for Peace Australia Medical Association for Prevention of War Melbourne Unitarian Peace Memorial Church Newcastle Peace Group Nonlethal Security for Peace Campaign Nuclear-Free Queensland Oxfam Australia Pace e Bene Australia, Inc Pax Christi Australia People for Nuclear Disarmament Psychologists for Peace Public Health Association of Australia The Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) Victoria SafeGround Scientists for Global Responsibility Australia Spirit of Eureka (Victoria) Soka Gakkai International Australia Synod of Victoria and Tasmania, Uniting Church in Australia Synod of Western Australia, Uniting Church in Australia Union of Australian Women, Queensland Union of Australian Women, Victoria United Nations Association of Australia, Queensland UnitingJustice Australia Vintage Reds Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Australia World Citizens Association of Australia World Federation of Public Health Associations