Australia MUST sign nuclear disarmament treaty

Today the historic Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) opens for signature at the United Nations. This treaty was adopted in July this year with the support of 122 nations. The treaty prohibits development, testing, production, possession, use, or threatened use of nuclear weapons.

A joint statement released today by IPPNWi, the World Medical Association, the International Council of Nurses, and the World Federation of Public Health Associations urges governments to sign on given nuclear weapons catastrophic health, environmental, and humanitarian impacts.  

“This treaty will finally place nuclear weapons, the very worst weapons of mass destruction, on the same footing as chemical weapons, biological weapons, land mines and cluster munitions.” said Margaret Beavis MAPW National President.

The current brinkmanship between North Korea and the US illustrates just how urgent collective disarmament is.

“As long as some countries hold these weapons, other countries will persist in building them, with ongoing proliferation” said Dr Beavis.  

There are over 15,000 nuclear weapons globally, with 1,800 on hair trigger alert. Over the past five decades there have been a number of very close calls, where radar or computer faults have nearly sparked nuclear war.  

Australia current government is refusing to sign, despite support of well over 70% of Australians in the last three independent surveys on this issue.

Both the ALP and the Greens support the ban treaty.

Australia faces a clear choice: support the banning of these weapons and work constructively with all nations towards disarmament, or watch them multiply and inevitably cause appalling catastrophe.  We strongly urge the Australian government to sign this treaty.

For information please contact Dr Margaret Beavis 0401 99 56 99

Joint statement by IPPNWi, the World Medical Association, the International Council of Nurses, and the World Federation of Public Health Associations vailable here 

MAPW is the IPPNWi Australian affiliate