Australia’s Religious have joined other faith and community organisations in supporting an open letter to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, calling for the Australian Government to sign a treaty to ban nuclear weapons.
Catholic Religious Australia and more than 50 other faith groups, including religious congregations, signed an open letter in solidarity with the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICANW) in October, urging the Government to act.
The letter said that nuclear weapons are the most destructive weapons on earth and pose a threat so grave they are an existential risk to all humanity.
“Since the 1945 nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we have known the devastating impacts of these weapons,” it said.
“In Australia, Indigenous people have borne the brunt of nuclear weapons testing.
“The current threat of nuclear conflict between the US and North Korea highlights how urgent it is for all nations to disarm. In the words of Ban Ki-moon, there are no right hands for the wrong weapons.”
The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons outlaws these weapons and was adopted by the United Nations in July this year. The treaty is supported by 122 nations and will enter into force when 50 countries have ratified it.
“It categorically rejects nuclear weapons and represents the most positive step forward in global disarmament in decades,” the open letter said.
“The Norwegian Nobel Committee recognised this by awarding the Nobel Peace Prize for 2017 to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) for its work to achieve the Treaty.”
Australia has refused to support or sign the ban treaty, arguing that it relies on the protection of the United States nuclear umbrella and the nuclear nonproliferation treaty.
ICAN was founded in Melbourne in 2007.
Read the full Open Letter to Prime Minister Turnbull and see the signatories here.