The ICAN Cities Appeal was endorsed unanimously by the City of Sydney on 29 October, 2018.
Moved by Councillor Scully and seconded by Councillor Scott.
It is resolved that:
(A) Council note:
(i) the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), originally established in Australia in 2007, were awarded the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize for their ground-breaking efforts to achieve a global treaty for the prohibition of nuclear weapons;
(ii) on 7 July 2017, 122 nations voted to adopt the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (“the Treaty”);
(iii) at this time the Treaty has been signed by 69 nations and ratified by 19 nations. Once ratified by 50 nations, it will enter into force;
(iv) while the Australian Government supports the goal of a world free of nuclear weapons, it has not yet signed or ratified the Treaty;
(v) cities in the United States independently began to add their support to this cause, and inspired by them, ICAN will soon launch the Cities Appeal, a campaign for towns and cities to voice their concern for the consequences of nuclear weapons and endorse the Treaty; and
(vi) the City of Sydney is a member of Mayors for Peace, an international organisation which calls for nuclear disarmament;
(B) Council congratulate ICAN on their historic achievement and contribution toward global nuclear disarmament;
(C) the City of Sydney endorse the ICAN Cities Appeal which states that:
“Our city is deeply concerned about the grave threat that nuclear weapons pose to communities throughout the world. We firmly believe that our residents have the right to live in a world free from this threat. Any use of nuclear weapons, whether deliberate or accidental, would have catastrophic, far-reaching and long-lasting consequences for people and the environment. Therefore, we warmly welcome the adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons by the United Nations in 2018, and we call on our national government to sign and ratify it without delay”; and
(D) the Lord Mayor be requested to write to the Prime Minister, the Hon. Scott Morrison MP, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator the Hon. Marise Payne, the Federal Leader of the Opposition, the Hon. Bill Shorten MP, the Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator the Hon. Penny Wong, and the Hon. Doctor Richard di Natale, calling for the government to sign and ratify the Treaty on behalf of the Australian people.
2020: Australian Local Government Association
In 2020 the City of Sydney submitted a motion in support of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons to the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) for discussion at the 2020 National General Assembly.
In August 2020, after receiving submissions from local councils across the nation, the Australian Local Government Association board wrote to the Senator the Hon. Marise Payne Minister for Foreign Affairs with a message: Councils urge the Australian Government to sign and ratify the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
2021: Councillor Roundtable
In 2021 Councillor Linda Scott attended a special Councillors Roundtable hosted by ICAN Australia to celebrate the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in March 2021.
Screenshots of councillors attending an online Councillor Roundtable in March 2021.
2021: Green Legacy Hiroshima initiative
In 2021, the City of Sydney has pledged to join the Green Legacy Hiroshima initiative. This involves sourcing a seed from one of the original Hiroshima survivor trees for growth and eventual planting somewhere in the local government area in the City of Sydney.
Moved by Councillor Scully, seconded by Councillor Kok.
It is resolved that:
(A) Council note:
(i) this year marks the 76th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which killed between 129,000 and 226,000 people;
(ii) the City of Sydney has a long standing commitment to supporting peace efforts at a local and on a global level: as a member of Mayors for Peace and key supporters of the Sydney Peace Prize, and in October 2018, Council unanimously endorsed the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons;
(iii) the Green Legacy Hiroshima initiative is a global volunteer campaign, aiming to disseminate the universal message of nuclear disarmament by providing the seeds or saplings of ‘survivor trees‘ – trees that survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki – to be planted in locations all over the world;
(iv) currently seeds and saplings from the A-bombed trees are growing in more than 30 countries – in a sustained, long-term campaign, joining other efforts for a nuclear-free and sustainable future;
(v) there is community support for the City of Sydney to participate in the Green Legacy Hiroshima tree project; (vi) participation in the Green Legacy Hiroshima initiative involves sourcing a seed from one of the original Hiroshima survivor trees for growth and eventual planting somewhere in the local government area; and
(vii) City staff have advised that the City does not have the facilities to grow plants imported from overseas from seed. However, they suggested that the Royal Botanic Gardens would be a suitable partner. The Royal Botanic Gardens have expressed interest and capacity to undertake this;
and (B) the Chief Executive Officer be requested to:
(i) seek advice from City staff to determine the preferred species of Survivor Tree seed, noting many of the species on the list may be considered weeds in Australia; and
(ii) initiate the process to join the Green Legacy Hiroshima project, working with the Royal Botanic Gardens to secure an appropriate seed from a Survivor Tree for cultivation and future planting in an agreed location in our local government area.