NGA endorses nuclear weapons ban

Article image - NGA endorses nuclear weapons ban Mayor John Daw, Mundaring WA, holding the Nobel Peace Prize is pictured with council representatives from across Australia, ICAN and Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom Members.

At its National General Assembly in June, the Australian Local Government Association delegates unanimously passed Motion 61 calling on Australia to sign and ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

As the motion passed the conference erupted in applause.
The push for the national body to endorse the Treaty comes after 35 Australian councils publicly declared their support for it, along with over 400 cities worldwide.

The Treaty is the first to comprehensively outlaw the production, stockpiling, transfer, hosting, use, threat of use of nuclear weapons, as well as assistance with any of the prohibited acts. With 86 signatories and 54 states’ parties currently, the Treaty entered into force in January this year.

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) is a coalition of non-governmental organisations in one hundred countries promoting adherence to and implementation of the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

Founded in Melbourne, ICAN was awarded the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize.

Councillor Susanne Newton, City of Darebin, said, “It was such an honour to move the motion on behalf of Darebin Council, calling on the Australian government to sign the treaty. I had the Nobel Peace Prize in my hand, won by Darebin residents Dimity Hawkins and Dave Sweeney, co-founders of ICAN, and my hands were shaking as I was ready to argue for why this is so important to me and my city.

Darebin has a long history of activism in this area, opposing nuclear weapons for many years. Personally, I was very moved by visiting the Hiroshima Peace Museum and believe that anyone who has witnessed the horrors of Hiroshima or Nagasaki will understand the need to abolish nuclear weapons.

“While I had been really keen to speak, what better result could we ask for than this being supported by all 537 councils in attendance, with no opposition?