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NOBEL PRIZE TO ICAN SHOWS CATASTROPHIC RISK POSED BY NUCLEAR WEAPONS, NEED TO SIGN AND RATIFY BAN TR

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 7 OCT 2017

PEOPLE FOR NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT
HUMAN SURVIVAL PROJECT

NOBEL PRIZE TO ICAN SHOWS CATASTROPHIC RISK POSED BY NUCLEAR WEAPONS, NEED TO SIGN AND RATIFY BAN TREATY

AUSTRALIA MUST SIGN NUCLEAR WEAPONS PROHIBITION TREATY

Todays announcement that the Nobel peace prize has been awarded to the International Campaign for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) points to the concern felt by the Nobel committee over catastrophic nuclear risks, the need for action to reduce those risks, and the need to take the first step to the elimination of nuclear weapons and to sign and ratify the Ban treaty, the centrepiece of ICANs work, according to John Hallam, veteran UN nuclear campaigner on nuclear risks and the lobbyist behind the UNGA resolution on Operational readiness of Nuclear weapon Systems.

According to Mr Hallam, UN Nuclear Disarmament Campaigner with PND and the Human Survival Project:

“The current international situation is one in which nuclear risks, and the all too real risk of actual nuclear weapons use, all too frequently characterised as something that ceased with the end of the Cold War, has rocketed back up to the top of the list of international concerns.”

“Commentators such as Australia's own Gareth Evans and William Perry have for a number of years been warning that nuclear weapons remain the single most important short to immediate – term threat to civilisation and possibly to human survival.”

“These ugly radioactive chickens are now coming home to roost.”

“Myself and a number of others have been banging various drums in various obscure and not so obscure corners of the UN system for over a decade now, warning of this. As a result of ICAN's work, as well as the work of many other disarmament groups, a series of meetings were held in Oslo, Nayarit (Mexico) and in Vienna, highlighting the catastrophic risks and consequences of nuclear weapons use were held. The political momentum created by these meetings then flowed through to an Open Ended Working Group, and finally to the negotiation for the Nuclear Prohibition Treaty.”

“The Prohibition treaty unequivocally makes nuclear weapons illegal – and the safest nuclear weapon is, clearly, one that does not exist. There are no 'right hands' for wrong weapons.”

“Australia and a number of other countries are absolutely dead wrong in arguing that the Nuclear Prohibition Treaty does not advance the cause of elimination of weapons which, if we do not eliminate them, will surely eliminate us. Surely it cannot be anything but illegal, in the profoundest way, to threaten to use weapons whose widespread use could make the planet uninhabitable. In that sense, the Prohibition Treaty merely recognises what has always been the case. But the recognition, in a treaty, that nuclear weapon are illegal (and have always been so), immeasurably weakens the position of those who argue that they have a 'right' to these weapons. Nobody – Not the US, not Russia, not China, and not the DPRK – has a right to those weapons. They are just as illegal for the United States as they are for the DPRK.”

“Such a position strengthens, not weakens, the thrust of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty,(NPT) with which the Prohibition Treaty interlocks. To suggest it does otherwise is ridiculous and frankly, dishonest.”

“Australia should immediately sign and ratify the Prohibition Treaty, and lobby strenuously for others to do likewise.”

John Hallam

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