2019 in review

Dec 11, 2019

Over the last year the precariousness of our existence has only become more apparent. The spectre of nuclear war continues to hover just out of sight, while the climate crisis advances unabated. Only powerful civil society movements will stop these twin existential threats in their tracks.

A bright light of hope, the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons is marching steadily towards entry-into-force with 80 signatories and 34 states parties to date. The treaty will enter into force after the 50th ratification.

¬†Australia remains opposed to joining the treaty, instead promoting a role for these weapons of mass destruction in our defence policy. However, the treaty’s progress and the growth of domestic support for it will make this position untenable. It is inevitable that Australia signs and ratifies the nuclear weapon ban treaty.¬†


Highlights of 2019: 


  • Choosing Humanity: why Australia must sign and ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons” was published and launched in 9 cities around Australia. This comprehensive report deepens the arguments for the treaty and demonstrates the breadth of support for it.
  • 25 Australian councils have endorsed the ICAN Cities Appeal, calling for Australia to join the treaty. Champion councils include Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Hobart and Fremantle. A dozen councils flew the ICAN flag on the anniversaries of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August.
  • 165 federal election candidates declared their support for the treaty ahead of Election Day. The election saw 9 new ban-champions enter parliament.
  • Parliamentary support for the treaty grew with almost 200 parliamentarians from all parliaments having signed the ICAN Parliamentary Pledge.
  • Following federal Labor’s commitment to sign and ratify the treaty in government, the WA, NT, SA, VIC, ACT and TAS Labor branches have also resolved to support the treaty.
  • A new campaign “Quit Nukes – nuclear weapon free finance” was launched, advocating for Australian super funds to cut ties with nuclear weapon producers. Quit Nukes is a joint campaign of ICAN and the Medical Association for Prevention of War.
  • We published a paper on nuclear weapons and our climate.
  • A mural celebrating the late Yankunytjatjara nuclear test survivor Yami Lester and local ICAN co-founders Dave Sweeney and Dimity Hawkins was commissioned by Darebin Council for the Preston Library.
  • ICAN’s Nobel Peace Prize medal went on display at the Melbourne Museum and Parliament of Victoria.
  • We visited Maralinga, the nuclear testing site on the lands of the Maralinga Tjarutja people.

  • We connected with high-profile ban champions like Herbie Hancock, Costa, Craig Reucassel, Prof Gillian Triggs and former Justice of the High Court, the Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG.

  • The National Folk Festival hosted an ICAN Concert for Peace in April, featuring Eric Bogle and Irish Mythen! The good folk of Tomerong, NSW, hosted a fundraiser Peace Concert for ICAN in September.

  • We met with many parliamentarians, delivered many talks, gave many interviews and disseminated many materials!


Thank you to our community for being part of the campaign! If you’d like to support our big plans for 2020, please donate here.