How Australia celebrated the 50th ratification

Nov 1, 2020 | News

On the 24th of October 2020 the world received the news that Honduras formally ratified the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, a day after Jamaica and Nauru submitted their ratifications. Honduras became the 50th state party, triggering the entry into force of the treaty 90 days later on 22 January 2021. After an impromptu global ICAN zoom call to laugh, cry and share stories, we began spreading the word.


This news was welcomed and celebrated by many:


  • The Leader of the Opposition Anthony Albanese MP and Shadow Foreign Minister Senator Penny Wong issued a press release welcoming the 50th ratification and reaffirming Labor’s policy to sign and ratify the treaty in government.
  • The Co-Chairs of Parliamentary Friends of the TPNW announced the 50th ratification to their party colleagues in Labor, the Greens and the National and Liberal parties.
  • Parliamentarians shared the news on social media and in parliament, including a speech “thank you anti-nuclear campaigners” by Labor’s Josh Wilson MP. Along with Ged Kearney MP, Mr Wilson put a motion to the House of Representatives, while Senator Jordon Steele-John put a motion to the Senate. The government wouldn’t let either motion be heard or debated. Senator Tim Ayres questioned DFAT on the entry-into-force of the treaty, asking whether Australia would attend the first meeting of state parties.
  • We shared a celebratory campaign video on social media that has been watched thousands of times.
  • Our Ambassadors had a few things to say, calling on Australia to step up and join the ban.
  • Organisations that shared the news include the Australian Medical Association, Australian Council of Trade Unions, Health and Community Services Union, Communications Electrical and Plumbing Union, Community and Public Sector Union, Australian Conservation Foundation, the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Quakers Australia, Mayors for Peace Fremantle, the Missionary Sisters and many more.
  • The Australian Red Cross issued a statement, with Tara Gutman stating “This is an important milestone marking the beginning of the end of nuclear weapons.”
  • Our partner and founding organisation the Medical Association for Prevention of War hosted a zoom party on the Friday night following the 50th ratification.
  • The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Journal published an article by Dr Amanda Ruler “The beginning of the end of nuclear weapons?
  • The Public Health Association of Australia published an article by Dr Tilman Ruff “Nuclear weapons – always inhumane and unacceptable, now illegal.
  • We hit the radio waves and had a dozen opinion pieces published, which you can find listed on our media page.

The treaty’s entry into force is now around the corner, signalling a new era for nuclear weapons.