IPAN (The Independent and Peaceful Australia Network) is greatly encouraged by the recent actions of the Albanese government to depart from Australia’s prior blanket opposition to the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), abstaining on a vote calling on all countries to join the Treaty at the UN general assembly first committee.
“After five years of total opposition and obstruction to the treaty, this is a step in the right direction for Australia, and is hopefully a sign that the Albanese government will follow through on its commitment to sign and ratify the treaty in line with the vast majority of Australian public opinion,” stated IPAN spokesperson, Vince Scappatura.
“Australians have persistently expressed their strong support for the TPNW, the most recent poll this year indicating that 76 per cent of Australians want their government to sign and ratify the Treaty, believing it will lead to a more peaceful and secure world,” says Scappatura.
Albanese expressed his strong support for Australia joining the TPNW at the 2018 Australian Labor Party’s (ALP) national conference at which a resolution in favour of joining the treaty was adopted. The ALP’s 2021 national platform also states that “Labor in government will sign and ratify the [nuclear] ban treaty.”
However, in opposition to both the Australian government and the will of the Australian people, the United States is pressing Australia not to sign the treaty, recently issuing a warning via its embassy in Canberra that this might hamper defence arrangements between the US and its allies.
“Australia must not succumb to attempts by its so-called security ally to defy the will of the Australian people and take action to rid the world of these abhorrent weapons of mass destruction,” says Scappatura.
91 countries have signed the treaty and 68 are state parties, including many countries in the Indo-Pacific region and among Australia’s “family” of nations in the Southwest Pacific. Notably, US allies and security partners such as New Zealand, Thailand and the Philippines have already signed and ratified the treaty.
New Zealand announced that it was pleased with Australia’s recent positive shift towards the treaty and reiterated its call for all nations to join the treaty at the earliest opportunity.
IPAN calls on the Albanese government to deliver on its promise to the Australian people and sign and ratify the treaty as a matter of urgency and to resist all attempts of intimidation by United States to do otherwise.