All posts by Jon Atkins

UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons hits 50 ratifications!

Photo: ICAN. Click to enlarge.

On October 24, 2020, the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) reached the required 50 states parties for its entry into force, after Honduras ratified just one day after Jamaica and Nauru submitted their ratifications. The treaty will enter into force on January 22, 2021, instituting a ban on nuclear weapons, 75 years after their first use.

This milestone means the treaty will become international law on January 22, 2021, increasing pressure on nuclear armed states and other countries to support the treaty. The treaty now has 84 signatories and 50 states parties.

Below is a statement by ICAN Australia dated October 24, 2020 in recognition of this milestone:

History was made today as the number of countries ratifying the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons reached 50. Honduras ratified the treaty overnight bringing the world a step closer to the abolition of nuclear weapons. Just a day ago, on United Nations Day, Jamaica and Nauru ratified the treaty.

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UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons – only 4 ratifications to go!

Photo: ICAN. Click to enlarge.

Malaysia has become the 46th nation to ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Foreign Minister, Hishammuddin Hussein, signed the instrument of ratification on behalf of Malaysia on 30 September 2020. It was deposited with the United Nations later that day. Just four more ratifications are now needed to bring the treaty into force.

In a video address played at the signing ceremony in the nation’s capital, Kuala Lumpur, to mark the occasion, Hishammuddin Hussein expressed concern that the nuclear-weapon states have been regressing in the area of disarmament.

Continue reading UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons – only 4 ratifications to go!

UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons – only 6 ratifications to go!

A total of 44 states are now parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (also known as the Nuclear Weapon Ban Treaty) which was adopted by the United Nations on July 7, 2017. This landmark treaty prohibits nuclear weapons and establishes a legal framework for their elimination. It will enter into force after 50 states have signed and ratified the treaty.

The latest endorsements of the treaty coincided with the 75th anniversary of the US atomic bombing of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9 in 1945. To mark Hiroshima Day, Ireland, Nigeria and Niue ratified the treaty on August 6, while the Caribbean state of Saint Kitts and Nevis has moved to do the same this Nagasaki Day. Continue reading UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons – only 6 ratifications to go!

Anzac Day and the coronavirus

Marrickville Peace Park

Due to the coronavirus, no public gatherings to commemorate Anzac Day will be held around the country this year. This has also resulted in the cancellation of the alternative Anzac Day Reflection which was scheduled to take place at the Marrickville Peace Park in Sydney.

This circumstance, however, opens up an opportunity for the Australian community to move away from Anzac Day ceremonies that have become so commercialised and politicised in recent decades.

In particular, it offers the opportunity for people, young and old, to critically reflect upon the Anzac legend and the historical distortions that this myth entails.

Continue reading Anzac Day and the coronavirus

Inner West Council flies Morning Star Flag in support of West Papuan independence

Morning Star Flag flying at Leichhardt Town Hall. Photo: Australia West Papua Association. (Click to enlarge).

Saturday December 1, 2019 marked the 58th anniversary of the first raising of West Papua’s symbol of independence, the Morning Star Flag.

The annual Global Flag Raising for West Papua is an international event where supporters around the world hold solidarity rallies and, on December 1, raise the Morning Star in support of the West Papua people and their right to self-determination.

This legitimate aspiration for self-determination was thwarted when an ‘Act of Free Choice’, popularly known as the ‘Act of NO Choice’, took place on August 2, 1969. This fraudulent vote involved a handpicked group of 1,025 West Papuans who were coerced, under the threat of violence, into voting for integration with Indonesia. Continue reading Inner West Council flies Morning Star Flag in support of West Papuan independence

The beginning of the end of nuclear weapons

Source: Beyond Nuclear International

On November 21, 2019 the Marrickville Peace Group (MPG) held a public screening of two documentary films on the threat to human survival posed by nuclear weapons.

The first film shown was “The Beginning of the End of Nuclear Weapons”. This feature-length documentary focuses on the history of nuclear weapons as well as the anti-nuclear movement that has campaigned to bring a nuclear weapons ban treaty into international law.

The later part of the film is based on interviews with leading activists from many different organisations and countries, including those associated with the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN). Continue reading The beginning of the end of nuclear weapons