END OF CIVILISATION? NOT AN ELECTION ISSUE!
PEOPLE FOR NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT NUCLEAR FLASHPOINTS CAMPAIGN
PRESS CONF 2PM MON 16TH SYDNEY TOWN HALL STEPS
END OF CIVILISATION? NOT AN ELECTION ISSUE!
As the election campaign draws to an exhausting cliffhanger close, one issue has not been part of the campaign of either side.
It is nuclear disarmament.
The one issue that can even now, 20 years after the cold war has supposedly ended, STILL end not only civilisation, but possibly most complex land - based forms of life, in considerably less than an afternoon - in a very bad 40-90 minutes - has not been even mentioned by either side.
In recent op-eds in the Age and the Sydney Morning Herald, former liberal Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser has expressed his dismay that this is so. So also has former foreign minister and ICNND chair Gareth Evans, who points out that even today thousands of US and Russian warheads remain poised to fire at less than 2 minutes notice.
In the last two weeks, a coalition of peace and environment groups ranging from the Medical Association for the Prevention of War, the International Campaign for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons, (ICAN) and the Sydney Peace Foundation, to Marrickville Peace Group and the Hiroshima Day Committee have written to the Gillard and Abbott campaigns as well as the Greens, urging them to place a high priority on the nuclear disarmament issue, and to support a global nuclear weapons convention. So far only the Greens and Sydney Mayor Clover Moore have responded.
A Press conference is scheduled to be held on the issue on the steps of Sydney Town Hall.
The Labor and Liberal parties as well as Mayor Clover Moore and the Greens have all been invited to come and explain their nuclear disarmament policies.
Only Clover and the Greens so far have shown any interest.
We remain hopeful that the ALP and Liberals will turn up and show us that they too, see the possibility of nuclear catastrophe as the real and present danger that Gareth Evans and Malcolm Fraser insist it is.
2pm Monday 16th will be the last chance the ALP and Liberals have to show interest in what remains to this day an issue of human survival, potentially far, far, more important than any conceivable electoral catastrophes.
TIME: MONDAY 16TH AUG 2PM
PLACE: STEPS OF SYDNEY TOWN HALL
John Hallam 9810-2598 m0416-500-793
Cameron Schraner 0415-202060
PEOPLE FOR NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT (PND) NSW
PEOPLE FOR NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT (PND) W.A.,
INTERNATIONAL CAMPAIGN TO ABOLISH NUCLEAR WEAPONS (ICAN) AUST
MEDICAL ASSOCIATION FOR THE PREVENTION OF WAR (MAPW)
SYDNEY UNIVERSITY CENTRE FOR PEACE AND CONFLICT STUDIES (CPACS)
SYDNEY HIROSHIMA DAY COMMITTEE
AUSTRALIAN PEACE COMMITTEE
CAMPAIGN FOR INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION & DISARMAMENT (CICD)
MISSIONARIES OF THE SACRED HEART JUSTICE AND PEACE CENTRE
MARRICKVILLE PEACE GROUP
SYDNEY PEACE AND JUSTICE COALITION
SYDNEY PEACE FOUNDATION
AUSTRALIAN ANTI-BASES CAMPAIGN COALITION
ASSOCIATION OF WORLD CITIZENS (AUST)
CONFLICT RESOLUTION NETWORK
PRIME MINISTER JULIA GILLARD
LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION TONY ABBOTT
LEADER OF THE GREENS BOB BROWN
RE: NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT/ NUCLEAR WEAPONS CONVENTION
Dear Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Leader of the Opposition Tony Abbott, and Leader of the Greens Senator Bob Brown:
The issue of nuclear disarmament has not figured at all this far in the election.
Nuclear disarmament is of the same apocalyptic significance as it was back in the 1980's, when in Australia, hundreds of thousands of people marched in the streets of Australian, US, and European cities.
In recent years, a global consensus has formed that nuclear weapons should be eliminated. At the same time, the same climate modelling that is used to model Global Warming, when applied to the effects of large-scale use of nuclear weapons continues to indicate as it did in the 1980s, that such use would be catastrophic and could possibly even threaten our survival as a species. A 'regional' nuclear 'exchange' involving our neighbours India and Pakistan, would still produce catastrophic global climatic effects.
Julia Gillard is a member of the Parliamentary Network for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament (PNND), a global network of parliamentarians that seeks the elimination of nuclear weapons worldwide, and Senator Bob Brown has a long record of involvement in this issue. We are confident that Tony Abbott would not wish to be seen as any less committed to global nuclear disarmament than these two. PNND has written to Prime Minister Gillard urging the Australian government under her leadership take action to help eliminate nuclear weapons.
We wish to urge all prime - ministerial contenders to commit to take action to rid the world of nuclear weapons and to seek a fast track to nuclear zero, and a Nuclear Weapons Convention.
In particular we wish to ask whoever becomes Prime Minister to commit to take action to lead the debate, and to lead the world, to the creation and implementation of a global Nuclear Weapons Convention, as envisaged in the UN-sponsored Model Nuclear Weapons Convention circulated by the governments of Malaysia and Costa Rica, and as envisaged in the Five Point Plan of UNSG Ban Ki Moon, referenced in the May2010 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Review Conference Final Declaration.
Support for a Nuclear Weapons Convention was expressed by a large number of governments during the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference and the majority of governments in one way or another, implicitly or explicitly, gave it their support. It was, in spite of resistance from the nuclear weapons states, a key component of the final declaration.
In spite of the wide support expressed by many governments at the NPT Review Conference for the Nuclear Weapons Convention, Australia, notwithstanding Robert Mc Clelland's promise to 'drive the agenda' on that issue, remained strangely silent. A Nuclear Weapons Convention has been strongly supported by the JSCOT (Joint Senate Committee on Treaties) inquiry, who unanimously urged Australia to support it, and by the Evans/Kawaguchi Commission (ICNND - International Commission on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament)
Australia should be leading the world on the Nuclear Weapons Convention issue, but in fact we are sadly behind just about everyone else.
Australia does somewhat better on another vital issue, the lowering of operational readiness of nuclear weapon systems. The position outlined in our joint statement with Japan prior to the NPT Review Conference was relatively good on that issue. We note that the ICNND gives a great deal of attention to this literally apocalyptic issue, and would urge the Australian government to pay even greater attention to it, and to use whatever influence we have on the strategic thinking of the United States to urge them to negotiate with Russia to get rid of this vestige of the cold war.
We ask potential Prime Ministers to reply in detail to the following questions:
1) What attention will your Government pay to the issue of nuclear disarmament? Just how important do you see it is to go to global nuclear weapons zero?
2) How do you propose to help the world to get there?
3) Do you support the five-point plan outlined by UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and referenced in the final declaration of the NPT Review Conference? What steps will you take to further the Ban Ki Moon Five Point Plan?
4) Will you support a Nuclear Weapons Convention both as outlined in the Model Nuclear Weapons Convention and as referenced in the NPT Review Conference Final Declaration?
5) What steps will Australia take under your government to:
(a) Achieve global nuclear weapons zero;
(b) Lower the operational readiness of nuclear weapons systems so that miscalculation and malfunction of nuclear command and control systems can no longer terminate civilisation;
(c) Cement in place a global Nuclear Weapons Convention that will outlaw nuclear weapons forever?
We expect your swift, detailed, and thoughtful replies, which we will be press-releasing immediately before the election.
Please send them to:
People for Nuclear Disarmament
499 Elizabeth Street Surry Hills, NSW 2010
Yours sincerely and respectfully,
People for Nuclear Disarmament NSW Nuclear Flashpoints Campaign (Letter coordinator)
Prof. Tilman Ruff, Chair, ICAN Australia,
Dr Bill Williams, President, Medical Association for the Prevention of War (MAPW),
Judy Blyth, People for Nuclear Disarmament W.A., Perth, W.A.,
Andy Graham, Sydney Hiroshima Day Committee
Irene Gale, Australian Peace Committee Adelaide,
Pauline Mitchell, Campaign for International Cooperation and Disarmament (CICD) Melbourne,
Adam Breasley, Pugwash Australia,
Peter Murphy, SEARCH Foundation,
Father Claude Mostowik, Pax Christi NSW
Father Claude Mostowik, Director, MSC Justice and Peace Centre, Earlwood NSW,
Nick Deane, Marrickville Peace Group, Marrickville NSW,
Chris Hamer, Association of World Citizens, NSW,
Dr Stella Cornelius, Founder/Consultant, Conflict Resolution Network, Chatswood, NSW,
Bruce Childs (Fmr Senator) Father Claude Mostowik, Sydney Peace and Justice Coalition,
Prof. Stuart Rees, Sydney Peace Foundation,
Denis Doherty, Anti-Bases Campaign Coalition,
Ken Mc Nab, President, Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies (CPACS), Sydney University,
Last Updated on Sunday, 08 February 2015 22:19