Thank you, anti-nuclear campaigners

Published on Mon 26 October 2020 4:05pm

The only way to be sure that we avoid nuclear devastation is to see the abolition of nuclear weapons. Every normative and every practical step we take in that direction is hard won, precious and it’s vital.

Mr Wilson (4:05pm) – Deputy Speaker it is a momentous achievement that the nuclear weapons ban treaty yesterday achieved its fiftieth ratification, which means it will come into force in January. At a time when global cooperation in the cause of peace and shared well-being is both necessary and at risk, this milestone is a cause for celebration.

I pay special tribute to the International Campaign for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons. or ICAN, which was born here in Australia. And I say that every campaigner to every person who rallies who marches who writes to politicians who paints banners, who stands out in the cold first thing in the morning on the approach to Parliament House, and holds up the symbol of a broken nuclear missile – thank you for your commitment, your energy and your strength of purpose.

Deputy Speaker I was glad to be a small part of the work of Labour’s National Conference in 2018. That saw a commitment to sign and ratify the ban treaty through progress to address its interaction with the NPT and build wider international support. Australia should be focused and proactive in that work.

In the past, we’ve been a leader in pursuing nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. We’ve let that mantle slip; we need to take it up again.

Deputy Speaker I am 100% a nuclear realist. The only way to be sure that we avoid nuclear devastation is to see the abolition of nuclear weapons. Every normative and every practical step we take in that direction is hard won, precious and it’s vital.

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