“I would not want to elevate those risks artificially. Many would like that. The danger is serious, real. And we must not underestimate it.” The conflict in Ukraine risks ‘escalating into a third world war’ and NATO is ‘in essence‘ engaged in ‘a proxy war with Moscow by supplying Kyiv with weapons.’ – Sergey Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister, 26 April 2022.
Where lies the existential threat?
Chernobyl in Ukraine is now in the hands of the Russians. Today is the anniversary of its meltdown on 26th April 1986, taking many lives and affecting millions of others. It is more unstable now than ever, a reminder of the stupidity of political parties in Australia and elsewhere that supported uranium mining and export in the 70s and 80s to their eternal shame – The Liberal party, the National Party, the Labor Party. The same parties now support the building of nuclear submarine base in Australia. Here is a letter that you can write to your local parliamentarian – Ian Curr, editor, 26 April 2022
Today is the 36th Commemoration of the Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster. 26th April 1986. Now the anti nuclear anti war message is for the Australian Government, whatever party wins the election, to sign the United Nations Nuclear Weapon Ban Treaty 2017.
Attached is a pro forma letter to send to local councillors, members of parliament and Senators for them to urge the federal government to sign it and attend.
The treaty includes undertakings for signatories not to develop, test, produce, acquire, possess , stockpile, use, or threat to use nuclear weapons.
It also obliges states signatories to provide adequate assistance to individuals affected by the use or testing of nuclear weapons.
This treaty makes all nuclear weapons illegal. The General Assembly of the United Nations created this legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons. It is the path to disarmament, not to increased militarism, nuclear weapons and military spending.
The first MEETING OF STATES PARTIES (signatories) to the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) will take place in Vienna 21st to 23rd June 2022. Australia can send a representative as an observer.
ACTION: SEND THE ATTACHED LETTER TO PARLIAMENTARIANS TO YOUR LOCAL MP, COUNCILLOR, OR CANDIDATE TO URGE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO SIGN THE TREATY. COUNCILS CAN BE URGED TO NAME THEMSELVES AS NUCLEAR FREE.
Letter to Parliamentarians
Dear sir/ms (name of parliamentarian),
The risk of nuclear weapons use, whether intentionally or by accident, is growing. Just last week we have seen Russian nuclear weapons put ‘on alert‘ amidst the escalating violence of the invasion of Ukraine.
Any use of nuclear weapons would have catastrophic humanitarian consequences, which our emergency services are entirely unfit to respond to. Nine global leaders have the ability to destroy an entire city and its inhabitants with one blast. This threat is now terrifyingly current.
Unfortunately, Australia is currently complicit in this intolerable threat by supporting the use of nuclear weapons by the US on our behalf. This position can and must change.
The UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons became permanent international law in January 2021. It is the first treaty to comprehensively outlaw nuclear weapons and provide a pathway for all nations to pursue disarmament. It rejects any role for nuclear weapons, based on their unacceptable humanitarian impacts.
As my parliamentary representative, I write to request a meeting with you to discuss the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW).
Australia has joined all the pre-existing multilateral disarmament treaties. These include the bans on chemical weapons, biological weapons, anti-personnel landmines and cluster munitions. Joining the nuclear weapon ban treaty is consistent with an ongoing alliance with the US. Some of our regional neighbours including New Zealand, Thailand and the Philippines, have already demonstrated this.
The first meeting of states parties to the TPNW remains scheduled for later in 2022 in Vienna. This meeting will provide an important opportunity for Australia to engage with the TPNW and attend as an observer, if not yet a state party.