World marks Treaty on Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons over weekend but again Australia is silent

Australian Greens

Over the weekend, the world marked the second anniversary of the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. On the 22nd of January 2021, this treaty became binding on all states parties, entrenching its place in international law.

In 2018, the Labor party adopted a resolution that commits it to signing and ratifying the TPNW in government. We are yet to see this happen.

On the 28th of October 2022, Australia had an opportunity to vote ‘yes’ to the TPNW. Instead, we abstained. This was a move in the right direction, but not a big enough one. This vote provided an opportunity for Australia to reaffirm its commitment to a world free of nuclear weapons.

The co-chairs of the Parliamentary friends of the TPNW released a joint statement, which can be read here:

As stated by Senator Jordon Steele-John:

“The Australian Greens will continue to call on the Australian Government to sign and ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.”

“Today marks 50 years since Australia ratified the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. The Foreign Minister has been quick to announce the Government’s continued commitment to a nuclear free world, but wants “universal support” before ratifying the TPNW. This is a delaying tactic. “

“Last year, in a Senate urgency motion, Labor voted “no” that the government should instruct Australia’s representatives at the United Nations to vote in the affirmative during the upcoming UN First Committee vote on the Treaty on the Total Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and signal the government’s intent to sign and ratify the treaty. We are under no illusion as to the ALP’s intentions.”

“AUKUS will continue to undermine our commitment to a nuclear free world. Our friends in the region know it, Australians know it, and it’s time the government knew it too. Having nuclear submarines in our waters is destabilising the region. There is no doubt about this.”

“Across the globe and here in Australia, people are speaking up and opposing the continuing proliferation of nuclear weapons. . In opposition, Anthony Albanese was enthusiastic and explicit about the Labor Party’s commitment to sign the treaty. Yet, as Prime Minister, he has failed to show the political courage to do what is necessary. “

“The war in Ukraine and rhetoric about the use of nuclear weapons, particularly by President Putin, is a reminder that denuclearisation is urgent. The TPNW is the best instrument we have against this ever-present threat.”

“Australia must play a constructive role toward global disarmament, and we must not delay any longer. The Australian Greens will continue to work to make this a reality. “

“Almost 80 percent of Australians back the signing of the TPNW. The Labor party membership backed the signing of the TPNW. The Greens have been absolutely unwavering in our backing of signing the TPNW. Let’s get it done.”

/Public Release. View in full here.