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
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

  • aiweiwei

    “Let’s act up! Ban nuclear weapons completely and unconditionally.”

    Ai Weiwei Artist and activist

  • sheen

    “If Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr were alive today, they would be part of ICAN.”

    Martin Sheen Actor and activist

  • bankimoon

    “I salute ICAN for working with such commitment and creativity.”

    Ban Ki-moon Former UN chief

  • yokoono

    “We can do it together. With your help, our voice will be made still stronger. Imagine peace.”

    Yoko Ono Artist

  • jodywilliams

    “Governments say a nuclear weapons ban is unlikely. Don’t believe it. They said the same about a mine ban treaty.”

    Jody Williams Nobel laureate

  • desmondtutu

    “With your support, we can take ICAN its full distance – all the way to zero nuclear weapons.”

    Desmond Tutu Nobel laureate

  • herbiehancock

    “Because I cannot tolerate these appalling weapons, I whole-heartedly support ICAN.”

    Herbie Hancock Jazz musician

  • dalailama

    “I can imagine a world without nuclear weapons, and I support ICAN.”

    Dalai Lama Nobel laureate