AUSTRALIAN HEALTH CARE ORGANISATIONS CALL FOR GOVERNMENT TO SIGN THE NUCLEAR WEAPONS BAN TREATY
Nuclear weapons represent an overwhelming threat to human and environmental health. They have the capacity to cause death and suffering on an unprecedented scale, with widespread destruction of health care and other infrastructure and the natural environment. In the event of their use again, very little humanitarian response would be available to assist any survivors.
Therefore nuclear weapons must never be used again.
The only way to ensure this is to abolish them.
For these reasons, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was adopted by the United Nations on 7 July 2017. We are proud that health care professionals in Australia played a pivotal role in achieving this historic milestone. The Treaty recognises all nuclear weapons, no matter which of the nine nuclear-armed nations they belong to, as illegal and illegitimate weapons of mass destruction.
As the risk of use of nuclear weapons - either deliberately or accidentally - is higher now than it has been for over half a century, action to reduce this risk is imperative.
As an organisation of health care professionals, we call on the Australian Government to sign and ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, and we call on all parliamentarians to work to achieve this essential goal, as we believe it is a key step towards the abolition of the world’s most terrifying devices.