International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons

Published on Mon 26 September 2022 1:35pm

We cannot tell ourselves that eliminating nuclear weapons is impossible. We must instead continue to wholeheartedly pursue all opportunities to achieve exactly that.

Mr Wilson (1:44pm) – Today is not only my wife, Georgia’s, birthday; it’s also the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, and I care about both very much. In recent years we’ve been given more and more reasons to be concerned about the existence of nuclear weapons and the potential for their use. This year the Russian President has made multiple references to the use of such weapons, which without doubt present a serious threat to human existence. Article six of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons states:

Each of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.

Unfortunately, very little has occurred on this front and in fact there has been a general deterioration in the existing architecture on arms control and disarmament. The exception, of course, has been the emergence of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, an achievement built on an extraordinary global civil society effort through ICAN, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, born in Melbourne. It is very welcome that under this government Australia sent an observer, the member for Macquarie, to the first meeting of the TPNW state parties, in Vienna in June.

We cannot tell ourselves that eliminating nuclear weapons is impossible. We must instead continue to wholeheartedly pursue all opportunities to achieve exactly that.

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