Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

UN poised to adopt nuclear weapons ban treaty today

The United Nations is set to adopt a global treaty to ban nuclear weapons (Friday 7 July (New York time)) – a long-awaited historic event marred by Australia’s boycott of negotiations.

“This is the biggest step towards nuclear disarmament that we have seen since the end of the Cold War,” said Associate Professor Dr Tilman Ruff, the Melbourne-based founding chair of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), who is attending the UN talks in New York.

“It comes at a time of growing international nuclear tension, where the risks of armed conflict escalating to the use of nuclear weapons is real and would be a humanitarian and environmental disaster,” he said.

“Pressure must now build on Australia to sign up to the treaty, as it has to treaties for the elimination of other weapons of mass destruction – biological and chemical, and other inhumane indiscriminate weapons such as landmines and cluster munitions.”

More than 130 nations are involved in the UN talks, including New Zealand and Indonesia, but Australia, at the behest of the United States, has boycotted the process. It is the first time ever that Australia has not participated in multilateral disarmament negotiations.

“If passed today, the treaty will stigmatise possession of nuclear weapons by any state, provide a source of legal, political, ethical, economic and civil society pressure on nuclear armed states to disarm, and encourage financial institutions to divest from companies that produce nuclear weapons,” said Tim Wright, Asia-Pacific director of ICAN.

“Of vital interest to Australia and the Pacific, it will also promote addressing the rights and needs of victims of nuclear use and testing, and of remediating contaminated environments,” he said.

“By failing to be involved in these negotiations, Australia has relinquished its responsibilities to its own Indigenous people, and to many others affected by nuclear testing in our region,” Mr Wright said.

Media please note:

Delegates at the UN will decide on Friday —by acclamation or vote—whether to adopt the treaty. If adopted, as is expected, it will open for signature on September 20, after which states will pursue ratification. Once 50 states have completed this process, the treaty will become binding international law.

ICAN Australia and Pacific representatives are available in New York and Australia for interviews, before and after the treaty’s expected adoption on Friday, New York time (likely Saturday morning, Australian time).

Video footage is available of addresses to the UN treaty conference plenary session (Thursday NY time) by: Australian Greens Senator Scott Ludlam, Vanessa Griffen (Fiji), FemLINK Pacific, ICAN Asia-Pacific director Tim Wright.

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July 7, 2017 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international, weapons and war

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