World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Aust Government Embarrassed by ‘Our’ Nobel Peace Prize?

Council for Peace with Justice and Sydney Peace Foundation


Australia should be proud of our association with the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize but so far Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop have made no comment.

The 2017 Nobel Peace Prize has just been awarded to ICAN, the International Campaign for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons.

ICAN is now an international organisation but it started with a group of Melbourne peace campaigners in 2005. The Prize was announced on 6 October 2017. The Greens and Labor have offered their congratulations but so far there’s been no comment from the Government.

ICAN has worked with the United Nations and other agencies on developing a Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Many nations support this treaty but so far Australia is not among them.

I think that the government must be deeply embarrassed by ‘our’ Nobel Peace Prize” says Professor Stuart Rees, veteran peace activist, founder of the Sydney Peace Foundation and member of the Council for Peace with Justice.

The government’s support for nuclear disarmament has been been luke warm to say the least. Julie Bishop did not even attend the signing ceremony of the Prohibition Treaty at the United Nations last month. Australians like to regard themselves as good world citizens, but with our current cruel policy on refugees and the vacuum in our policy on climate change, at present we do not rank highly on the international scale as humanitarians.The fact that there has been no official celebration of the Nobel Peace Prize must only further reduce our status.

Most Australians want to see the end of the nuclear threat. We should not be embarrassed, but rather be proud of the Australians who have achieved so much in working to abolish nuclear weapons” says Professor Rees.

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was endorsed by 122 countries at the United Nations headquarters in New York in July earlier this year despite strong opposition from nuclear-armed states and their allies (including Australia).

Under the treaty, signatory states must agree not to develop, test, manufacture or possess nuclear weapons, or threaten to use them, or allow any nuclear arms to be stationed on their territory.

Once the treaty has been ratified by 50 states it passes into international law. The international law banning landmines did not have universal support when first enacted but has since proved highly effective

The Council for Peace with Justice and the Sydney Peace Foundation urge the Australian government to immediately reverse its decision to oppose the prohibition treaty. The treaty does not (as argued by the government) undermine the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty but reinforces it and makes it meaningful.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Tonga Eruption: At Least 3 Dead, Amid Severe Destruction
At least three people have died in Tonga following the massive volcanic eruption and subsequent tsunami wave that hit over the weekend. Homes and other buildings across the archipelago have suffered major damage... More>>

Save The Children: Tonga Volcano Ash And Smoke Cause Concern For Air And Water Safety
Families in Tonga are at risk of exposure to unsafe air and water due to ash and smoke from the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano that erupted on Saturday, reports Save the Children...

Sudan: 15 Attacks On Health Facilities And Workers In Two Months

With the crisis escalating in Sudan, there have been 15 reports of attacks on healthcare workers and health facilities since last November, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday... More>>

Ethiopia: UN Chief Lauds ‘Demonstrable Effort To Make Peace’

The UN Secretary-General on Wednesday said he was “delighted” to learn that “a demonstrable effort to make peace” in Ethiopia is finally underway, according to information relayed to him by the African Union High Representative for the Horn of Africa... More>>

Tigray: Agencies Suspend Aid As ‘Scores’ Are Killed Due To Airstrikes
Recent airstrikes on camps for internally displaced persons and refugees in Tigray, northern Ethiopia, have reportedly killed scores of civilians, including children, and left many more injured... More>>

UN News: For 25th Year In A Row, Greenland Ice Sheet Shrinks

2021 marked the 25th year in a row in which the key Greenland ice sheet lost more mass during the melting season, than it gained during the winter, according to a new UN-endorsed report issued on Friday... More>>