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Home Articles Flashpoints Senate Notice of Motion Highlights Reality of Nuclear War Risk

Senate Notice of Motion Highlights Reality of Nuclear War Risk

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 30 NOV 2018



Senate Notice of Motion Highlights Reality of Nuclear War Risk

A notice of Motion on nuclear war risk reduction tabled earlier today in the Senate by Senators Penny Wong and Lisa Singh has been welcomed by People for Nuclear Disarmament and the Human Survival Project. PND is Australia's oldest disarmament organization. The Human Survival Project is a joint project between PND and the former Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies (CPACS).

According to PND's UN Nuclear Disarmament Campaigner John Hallam:
“Nuclear War Risk Reduction is the big hidden 'other issue' in nuclear disarmament, apart from supporting the Ban Treaty. The terrifying fact is that right now the risk of nuclear war is widely acknowledged by nuclear risk experts to be as great or greater than it was during the 'Cold War'. What ought to be even more terrifying – and terrifies the experts – is that no one seems to be particularly bothered, or even to have noticed.”

“However a number of initiatives HAVE taken place globally, notably a bill for No First Use of nuclear weapons by the United States, sponsored by Adam Smith, the incoming chair of the Committee on armed forces.(HR 4415 to establish no-first-use as a US policy) There is also a possible initiative in the Scottish Parliament. There have been a number of initiatives in the IPU and in the inter-parliamentary group of the OSCE.”

“Measures such as No First use, lowering of operational readiness and increased decision-making time, improved (or resumed) military-to-military communication, and establishment of a data exchange Centre (JDEC) are the same measures recommended in the UN Secretary-General’s 2018 disarmament report Securing our Common Future: An Agenda for Disarmament and supported by the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly representing 57 legislatures including those of Russia and the USA. These measures are further supported by experts and civil society representatives and further outlined in the Parliamentary Action Plan released by Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament and the Inter-Parliamentary Union and by the Abolition2000 Working Group on Nuclear Risk Reduction.”

“Senator Penny Wong recently made a speech to the Annual General Meeting of the Australian Institute of International Affairs in which she outlined a series of commonsense measures including those above, that would decrease the risk of an accidental global apocalypse.”

“Senators Wong and Singh's initiative is to be warmly welcomed as putting the issue of nuclear risk at least a little further into the spotlight, and drawing attention to sensible ways in which we can ensure that ten-20 years down the track, we, and what we call 'civilization' is still here.”

John Hallam
UN Nuclear Weapons Campaigner, People for Nuclear Disarmament
Human Survival Project
Co-Convener, Abolition 2000 Working Group on Nuclear Risk Reduction

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Notice of Motion
Senators Wong and Singh
Mr President
We give notice that, on the next day of sitting, we shall move that the Senate:
(1) Notes that:
(a) distinguished nuclear weapons experts warn of the unprecedented risk of an accidental or deliberate nuclear war, and that this risk is as great as it has ever been, including during the cold war,
(b) the current position of the hands of the Doomsday Clock, ceremonially moved by a committee of Nobel Prize winners and nuclear weapons experts, is as close to midnight as it has ever been, and
(c) a number of recent developments further worsen nuclear risk;
(2) Shares the ambition of a world free of nuclear weapons and the risk of nuclear war;
(3) Acknowledges international efforts to reduce nuclear war risk, including in the Conference on Disarmament;
(4) Calls on the Australian Government to make nuclear war risk reduction a topmost security priority including working with allies and partners to encourage nuclear weapon states to take urgent steps to reduce the risk of nuclear war.

Last Updated on Thursday, 13 December 2018 15:52