Media Release: Parliamentarians’ plea for a world without nuclear weapons

Jan 22, 2023 | News

On the second anniversary of the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) entering into force, the co-chairs of a cross-party group of parliamentarians, Parliamentary Friends of the TPNW, have released a statement calling on Australia to sign and ratify the treaty. 

The statement—which is co-written by Russell Broadbent MP, Liberal member for Monash, Senator Jordon Steele-John, Greens Senator for Western Australia, and Josh Wilson MP, Labor member for Fremantle, co-chairs of the group—celebrates the already ninety-two countries who have signed the treaty and urges the Australian Government to create a meaningful and lasting legacy by doing the same. “History shows that prohibition treaties on weapons of mass destruction are essential to facilitate progress towards their elimination,” they wrote. “Under the TPNW, nuclear weapons are stigmatised and rejected in their entirety, and a clear pathway is laid out for their eventual elimination.” 

ICAN Australia welcomes the statement and agrees that Australia must play a meaningful role in promoting geo-political stability in our region, concurring with the cross-party co-chairs that moving towards a world without nuclear weapons would promote “a common goal of peace, cooperation, and security ” with our Pacific and ASEAN neighbours.

In their statement, the co-chairs acknowledged the “escalating nuclear threats from nuclear-armed states” and the impact of the Russia–Ukraine war on global security. “At a time when the risk of nuclear conflict has significantly increased, and the existing disarmament and non-proliferation architecture has also been under pressure, the TPNW presents a vital opportunity for new and serious progress in moving towards a world without nuclear weapons.”

ICAN Australia Director Gem Romuld, says that “the second anniversary of the entry into force of the TPNW should serve as a reminder that nuclear weapons pose the single greatest threat to life on earth, and as long as they exist they can be used. Nuclear weapons are never a legitimate means of defence. Australia’s most powerful contribution to ending these abhorrent weapons will be to sign and ratify the TPNW.”Over 100 Australian federal parliamentarians have pledged their support for the treaty, including the Prime Minister, and the Australian Labor Party has committed to sign and ratify it in government since 2018. 

The full Parliamentary Friends of the TPNW statement can be read here.