Defence Legislation Amendment (Enhancement of Defence Force Response to Emergencies) Bill 2020

A controversial Bill entitled the Defence Legislation Amendment (Enhancement of Defence Force Response to Emergencies) Bill 2020, is to be debated in the Senate.

According to lawyer Kelly Tranter, if the legislation is enacted it would authorise the use of foreign military and police forces and would give them the same immunity from legal liabilities as Australian forces. Tranter writes: “The use of a foreign army or militarised police force should not be allowed at all, and certainly not without the safeguard of citizens’ rights of access to courts.”1

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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.

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International Day of Peace 2020 – Shaping Peace Together

The International Day of Peace (“Peace Day”) is observed around the world each year on 21 September. Established in 1981 by unanimous United Nations resolution, Peace Day provides a globally shared date for all humanity to commit to Peace above all differences and to contribute to building a Culture of Peace.

The 2020 theme for the International Day of Peace is “Shaping Peace Together”. Celebrate the day and stand together with the UN against attempts to use the COVID-19 pandemic to promote discrimination or hatred. Join one of the following events to help shape peace together.

Refer to details of the Sydney celebration and the Melbourne online event below.

SYDNEY CELEBRATION – 20 September, 2pm to 4pm

Raising Peace Event
When: Sunday 20 September, 2pm to 4pm
Time: 2.00pm to 4.00pm
Where: 107 Project, 107 Redfern St, Redfern 2016

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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!

Does the government now attach greater significance to preparations for war than it does to seeking peaceful co-existence?

Photo: The Canberra Times – Australian FA-18F Super Hornet. Click to enlarge.

That is the question MPG has put to the Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon. Linda Reynolds, in a letter.

MPG’s letter points to the fact that Australia has ignored the UN Secretary General’s call for a global ceasefire, by announcing an additional $270 billion expenditure on defence. Meanwhile it also ignores the risk of Covid-19 infection by hosting US marines in Darwin and by joining the RIMPAC naval exercises off the coast of Hawaii.

All of these points support the contention that the Australian government is more intent on preparing for war, than it is on maintaining peace. It is a sorry state of affairs. The full text of the letter can be read here.