8 Dec 2020 Dr. Anne Azza Aly member of the Australian house of representatives speech she stated “It’s time for the Australian government to reflect the moral position of the Australian people and sign the UN treaty. Our children deserve this”.
History is a wonderful thing, it is where we look to, to reflect on our glorious achievements and pass on learnings and wisdoms to the youth of tomorrow, youth that us optimistic and full of excitement for what their future holds. However, with all the greatness we can boast about also comes the reflection on what we could have done better… Would we have made different choices had we known what the history books recorded as our legacy?
If I offered you the opportunity to remove the threat and fear one is living in by removing the threat of nuclear weapons, what would you say? Choice and change are privileges we own and should be accountable for, and Australia, we need to have a very difficult, overdue and confronting conversation.
We are living through record book events, not only are we dealing with a pandemic but also the global political instabilities. Adding to this the ever-present threat nuclear weapons pose.
The mere mention of the words “Nuclear weapons” is universally understood as holding grave danger. It poses a global ticking time bomb- literally. As a country we have taken the choice on record to support the legitimacy and continuation of this existential man-made threat.
Nuclear weapons are the most destructive, inhumane and indiscriminate weapons ever created. Both in the scale of the devastation they cause, and in their uniquely persistent, spreading, genetically damaging radioactive fallout. They are unlike any other weapons.
Yet we find ourselves in this very same position 75 years on from the bombs dropped in Japan in 1945, that killed over 140,000 people in Hiroshima and 74,000 in Nagasaki. Not to mention the hundreds of thousands of people it maimed. Many survivors faced serious medical issues such as leukemia, thyroid, breast, lung and other cancers as well as other terrible side effects from the radiation.
The actions we take today will be for the betterment of our future. It is time for Australia to be on the right side of history. We can no longer allow other countries to dictate what our moral position is, nor can we wait for others to lead us to change.
We are living in an era where we have the power to influence behaviors. It is whether we choose to defer to the history lessons and make a change or remain complicit to maintaining these weapons that experts have warned us time and time again that it isn’t a matter of if, but a matter of when we will be faced with their human destruction and obliteration of our planet. The change for me is an easy one, it’s one most Australian’s support, 79% (IPSOS 11/18) in fact and it’s one the Australian Labor party has committed to enforcing upon winning government.
I refer to the 2017 UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Following a decade of advocacy by a home-grown movement founded in Melbourne, The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons and its partners presented the treaty with an overwhelming majority of the world’s nations adopted the landmark global agreement to ban nuclear weapons. This landmark ban reached it’s 50 country signatories’ criteria in October making it the first legally binding international agreement to prohibit nuclear weapons.
It prohibits nations from developing, testing, producing, manufacturing, transferring, possessing, stockpiling, using, or threatening to use nuclear weapons, or allowing nuclear weapons to be stationed on their territory. It also prohibits them from assisting, encouraging, or inducing anyone to engage in any of these activities.
This no doubt would and indeed should put increasing pressure on the nine nuclear armed countries that hold over fourteen thousand nuclear weapons. Hundreds of them are ready to launch within minutes
We have made tremendous progress towards eliminating other indiscriminate and inhumane weapons – chemical and biological weapons, landmines and cluster munitions, now is the time to add nuclear weapons to that list.
Australia, we need to support the treaty. We need to show our courage’s leadership and show our youth strength isn’t in these destructive weapons, it can simply be a meaning dialogue where conflict can dissipate. We can no longer be a proxy to the devastation and threat nuclear weapons pose.
Why we haven’t supported the efforts and treaty is beyond me.
It is no longer acceptable for any Australian governments to claim that US nuclear weapons are essential to our national security interest, yet this is where we have found ourselves. I urge the Coalition to sign the UN treaty on behave of all Australians.
I also urge financial institutions such as banks and super funds to stop the investment and financing of nuclear weapons. I am heartened by the superannuation fund movement, I commend funds like Crescent Wealth Super for taking a moral and investment stance and proactively choosing not to invest in the weapons industry, and indeed a recent survey shows 69% of Australians agreed or strongly agreed that their superannuation fund should not invest in nuclear weapons companies. (IPSOS 8/19).
Choice by definition “Is the purest expression of free will” we have amazing freedoms in this wonderful country to shape our future to exactly how we want the record books to reflect our legacy.
So here are faced with the choice: Do we accept the devastation a single nuclear bomb can cause or do we make the choice to hand over a world free of nuclear threat.
It’s time for the Australian government to reflect the moral position if the Australian people and sign the UN treaty. Our children deserve THIS.
Dr Anne Aly MP added “Nuclear weapons are the most destructive, inhumane and indiscriminate weapons ever created, both in the scale of devastation they cause and in their uniquely persistent spreading of genetically damaging radioactive fallout. They are unlike any other weapons. The mere mention of the words ‘nuclear weapons’ is universally understood as holding grave danger. Last week, we saw the 85th state ratification of the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. On 22 January 2021, the treaty will enter into force and, at that point, nuclear weapons, like chemical and biological weapons, the other weapons of mass destruction, will become illegal under international law. The treaty prohibits nations from developing, testing, producing, manufacturing, transferring, possessing, stockpiling, using—or threatening to use—nuclear weapons or allowing nuclear weapons to be stationed on their territory. It also prohibits them from assisting, encouraging or inducing anyone to engage in any of these activities”.
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Talal currently serves as a Non-Executive Director on the Whitlam Institute and Western Sydney University Foundation Council Board. He also serves as Chairman of First Quay Capital and Chairman of the Australian Arab Dialogue. Talal has also served on the Australia Post, Board of Sydney Ports, Macquarie University and the Western Sydney Area Health Service and the Chairman of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Council of Australia Arab Relations. In an executive capacity, Talal spent 10 years at PwC as a director and strategist, and at investment firm Babcock & Brown in the Corporate Finance Group and later in the Technical Real Estate Division. Later Talal held leadership positions in Better Place Australia, Platinum Hearing and Star Transport Australia.