Australian news, and some related international items

ICAN’s Dr Sue Wareham calls on Australia to do more to abolish nuclear weapons

Canberra doctor Sue Wareham part of Nobel peace prize winning team Finbar O’Mallon, A Canberra-based founder of a Nobel peace prize-winning organisation has called on the Australian government to do more to abolish nuclear weapons.

Cook doctor Sue Wareham is one of the founders of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), who have been awarded the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize.

“The problem with the Australian government’s position is that it’s two-face, it’s totally hypocritical,” Dr Wareham said. She said Australia argued that allies needed nuclear weapons to protect us but countries like North Korea couldn’t have them.  “We don’t have any credibility on the issue if we say we need them ourselves,” Dr Wareham said.

 She criticised Australia’s boycott of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons with the United States. “Australia was trying very actively to undermine the treaty to ensure it didn’t come into existence. We’ve got a pretty shameful record in that respect,” Dr Wareham said.

“We know we could take a far more stronger and independent stance. We know from opinion polling that the Australian people want a ban on nuclear weapons.” “Other US allies have been able to distance themselves … New Zealand did a long time ago in the 1980s and New Zealand has a good relationship still.”

ICAN is a Geneva-based organisation but was launched in Melbourne on April 23, 2007. Dr Wareham, one of its founders, lead rallies and campaigns in Canberra. “It was very exciting to hear we’d been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize,” she said. Dr Wareham probably would not attend the ceremony itself but she said it was good recognition not just for ICAN’s leaders, but for everyone involved in the campaign. She said the prize would give prominence to the issue of nuclear weapons but said complete abolition of nuclear weapons was the goal.

“We’re fully mindful of the enormous challenges ahead,” Dr Wareham said.

“Unless we address this problem and start to get down to zero nuclear weapons then we know they’re going to be used again at some stage,” she said.

Dr Wareham said by selling uranium to countries who hadn’t signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, Australia was undermining it.

“The export of uranium just makes the abolition … more difficult,” she said.


October 23, 2017 - Posted by | General News

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