Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 10 Hansard (Thursday, 20 September 2018) . . Page.. 3914 ..
in attracting signatories to both the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and the humanitarian pledge.
The Australian Greens’ founding principles of peace and nonviolence, social justice and grassroots democracy are all present in the work of ICAN. I would like to thank the Deputy Chief Minister for moving this motion and I commend it to the Assembly.
MS STEPHEN-SMITH (Kurrajong—Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Minister for Disability, Minister for Children, Youth and Families, Minister for Employment and Workplace Safety, Minister for Government Services and Procurement, Minister for Urban Renewal) (12.19): It gives me great pleasure to speak on the motion moved by the Deputy Chief Minister regarding the work of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, or ICAN, and I thank her for enabling a discussion on these matters in this place. As someone who has signed the ICAN pledge alongside many fellow Labor Party members, this is an excellent opportunity to pay tribute to the work of ICAN and congratulate this outstanding organisation on its much-deserved Nobel Peace Prize.
The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons was founded in Melbourne in 2006, as others have noted, and since then its model of advocacy and partnership has grown to encompass more than 450 organisations in 103 countries. Its Australian partner organisations range from established social justice and welfare groups to unions, environmental advocates and faith-based groups.
The ACT community is represented by organisations such as the Canberra region antinuclear campaign and the Conservation Council of the south-east region and Canberra. As members in this place we are well aware of Canberrans’ commitment to activism, to progressive values and social change, so it is not surprising that so many Canberrans support ICAN’s global mission. And that global mission is clear: ICAN recognises the catastrophic harm of nuclear weapons.
In the scale of the devastation they cause and in the long-term effects of fallout, they are like no other weapon. While we no longer live in the world of mutually assured destruction, the possibility of existing nuclear arsenals and the associated radioactive material falling into the hands of terrorist organisations remains a significant threat. As others have said, sadly some countries have renewed their efforts towards growing their nuclear weapons capabilities.
ICAN’s response to this threat is simple: nuclear weapons should be prohibited; nations should cease developing, testing, manufacturing and stockpiling nuclear weapons; national governments should not assist, encourage or induce anyone to engage in these activities; and countries with existing stockpiles of nuclear weapons should agree to their disposal in accordance with a legal protocol that is binding and has a clear timeframe.
ICAN’s activism has resulted in the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons which, as the motion states, was passed by a majority of UN members on 7 July 2017 after an extensive process of negotiation. The treaty lays out ICAN’s aims in