Australia Should Show Leadership on the Nuclear Ban Treaty
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Australia Should Show Leadership on the Nuclear Ban Treaty


Marianne Hanson on the need for Australian leadership regarding the nuclear ban treaty. While there may be resistance from the United States, Hanson argues that Australia needs to symbolically de-legitimize nuclear weapons, as they can inflict unspeakable suffering to millions of civilians. She calls Australia to action for support on nuclear disarmament as it can only strengthen and complete the NPT. Learn more.

“The treaty is a major diplomatic and humanitarian achievement. ICAN (the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear weapons), which was founded in Australia, worked tirelessly with other civil society groups and with non-nuclear states to bring about this legal prohibition. ICAN has kept working to raise public awareness of nuclear dangers and to persuade states that a treaty making nuclear weapons illegal would be an important step towards a world free of nuclear weapons.

But none of the treaty’s supporters believe that this will magically bring about disarmament overnight. The treaty’s imminent entry into force is something of a game-changer for international security politics, but in truth, the hard work – of getting as many states as possible on board, of shifting entrenched views that ‘our’ security can only be achieved by threatening annihilation to millions of ‘their’ people, and of placing pressure on the nine nuclear weapon states to give up their inhumane arsenals – is only just beginning. While the treaty is a necessary condition for these goals, it is by no means a sufficient one.”


Image: iStock, Andrii Yalanskyi.