The United Nations has voted overwhelmingly to adopt a treaty banning the use and threat of use of nuclear weapons. The final vote of 122 to 1, with 1 abstention, leaves no doubt as to the scale of the global movement for abolition.
“Today the world stood up to the nine nuclear weapons states and their proxies, and moved to put nuclear weapons on the same legal footing as chemical and biological weapons,” said Australian Greens Senator Scott Ludlam.
“At a time of rising nuclear tensions, this is an overwhelmingly positive initiative and one that the Abbott/Turnbull Government should have strongly supported. Instead, they were missing when the rest of the world was showing leadership.
“If the existing nuclear weapons cartel are serious about keeping North Korea out of their club, the negotiating leverage they are looking for is right here at the United Nations. The election of Donald Trump has blown away any illusions that existing nuclear weapons are in safe hands, and the DPRK’s provocations are evidence enough that there are no safe hands for these tools of massive nuclear violence. Now is the time for de-escalation, and this treaty provides the pathway.
Senator Ludlam travelled to New York at his own expense to join global civil society organisations including the Red Cross and the International Campaign for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) which have played a powerful role in achieving today’s outcome.
The treaty will be opened for signing on September 20, and will formally come into force when 50 countries have signed and ratified the document.
“We’re now turning our efforts to changing the Government’s mind, and if we can’t do that, changing the Government. When this treaty is opened for signing this September, Australia must be there,” Senator Ludlam concluded.