Home

AUST GOVT SHOULD SIGN, RATIFY TPNW, ACT TO REDUCE NUCLEAR WAR RISKS

E-mail Print PDF
 NAGASAKI DAY AUG 9 2018

PEOPLE FOR NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT
www.pndnsw.org.au

HUMAN SURVIVAL PROJECT
https://www.facebook.com/Human-Survival-Project-388802504634024/


AUST GOVT SHOULD SIGN, RATIFY TPNW, ACT TO REDUCE NUCLEAR WAR RISKS


RALLY 11AM SAT 11 AUG TOWN HALL SQ SYDNEY
August 9th is Nagasaki Day. Often overshadowed by Hiroshima Day, it was on this day that the Japanese city of Nagasaki was largely destroyed by the second nuclear weapon to be used in anger. So far it has also been the LAST nuclear weapon to be used in anger. Let us pray it remains the last.

If Nagasaki is to remain the last city to be incinerated by a nuclear weapon, it is going to require not only prayer however, but concrete action aimed at reducing the risks of nuclear warfare and at eliminating those weapons entirely as mandated by Article VI of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT).

The Australian Government (and opposition) must surely be aware that the current risk of nuclear war is calculated, by those who are knowledgeable or concerned, to be as great as it has ever been. This would be the broad consensus amongst nobel-prizewinning board members of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, former commanders of both US and Russian nuclear forces, and people such as Bill Perry, former US defense secretary, and Mikhail Gorbachev.

Australia is not leading, as it should be leading, in this vital area. Instead we have opposed the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). This in spite of the fact that the overwhelming majority of Australian clearly support it.

Australia has argued that the TPNW is 'impractical', which is nonsense. But even if that were so, there is a smorgasbord of nuclear risk reduction measures that should be taken if an accidental (or not so accidental) apocalypse, arising from madness, malice, miscalculation, malfunction or malware, is to be avoided. Indeed it is as or more important to reduce nuclear risks as it is to proceed to abolition (and doing so makes abolition easier). Yet even the most modest technical risk reduction steps (such as making military to military communication easier, or no-first-use agreements), seem scarcely to be on Australia's diplomatic agenda. True, we vote for a resolution on lowering operational readiness of nuclear weapon systems, but that's just about it. We don't seem to be doing anything concrete on either abolition OR risk reduction. Yet we could, and it would make a difference.

If buttons ever get pushed – more likely seemingly now than any time since 1953 – we will not be unscathed. Australian cities and Joint US-Australian facilities such as Pine Gap and Northwest Cape – are high priority targets for Russian, Chinese and North Korean warheads. And if anything over a few hundred weapons are used, Australians who haven't been fried will freeze in the dark just like everyone else who hasn't been vaporized in the first hour or so.

Australia should, as a matter of the utmost, national security priority – indeed as a pressing matter of national survival -

--Reverse its policy on the TPNW, sign and ratify it immediately, and vigorously lobby others to do likewise.

--Vigorously lobby for a series of measures to reduce the risk of nuclear war, including reducing operational readiness (we already vote for a resolution on that), mutual no first use agreements, measures to increase, re-establish, and optimize military to military communication between the forces of NATO and Russia (and China), (Putin has already indicated interest in doing just this – he needs to be encouraged), and final establishment of the Joint Data Exchange Facility, first proposed and agreed in 1998, reaffirmed many times, and never implemented.

A detailed list of nuclear risk reduction measures is to be found on the website of Abolition 2000's Working Committee on Nuclear Risk Reduction
http://www.abolition2000.org/en/nuclear-risk-reduction/

A recent letter from People for Nuclear Disarmament to Presidents Putin and Trump is to be found at:
http://www.pndnsw.org.au/component/content/article/48-pnd-newsflash/385-letter-re-meeting-between-presidents-putin-a-trump-washingtonmoscow-2019.html

--Australia should also vigorously lobby for the High Level Meeting on Nuclear Disarmament, postponed indefinitely last May, to be given a new date to convene and to actually meet. The format of this meeting would have allowed broad-ranging discussion on both abolition measures and on vital risk reduction measures with participation from nuclear weapon states as well as non-nuclear weapon states.

With these measures, Australia could recapture the leadership it has exercised from time to time in global nuclear disarmament, and in doing so make a real contribution to the survival of civilization and humans as a species.

As things now stand, as of this Nagasaki (and Hiroshima) Days, we are missing from the action.

A rally commemorating the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and calling for Australia to sign the Ban Treaty will be held on Saturday 11thAug at 11am in Town Hall Square Sydney. Speakers include Joseph Gerson of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), and Prof. Tilman Ruff of ICAN. For inquiries re the rally ring Radhika on 9749-0409

John Hallam
People for Nuclear Disarmament
Human Survival Project
UN Nuclear Disarmament Campaigner
Co-Convener, Abolition 2000 Working Group on Reducing Nuclear Risks
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
61-411-854-612