Page 4270 - Week 12 - Tuesday, 24 October 2017

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amazing efforts that night and thank everyone else that was involved, from the local celebrities and identities through to their professional dance partners, and all their friends and family that came along and supported such a worthwhile cause. As I said, I hope that the money raised can help save at least one child or baby in the ACT.

International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons

MS LE COUTEUR (Murrumbidgee) (5.04): I rise today to offer the congratulations of the ACT Greens to ICAN, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, on their recent receipt of the Nobel Peace Prize. As members would be aware, the Nobel Peace Prize is the pre-eminent accolade for people and organisations working towards the peaceful resolution of some of humanity’s most difficult and dangerous problems. The Nobel committee awarded the prize to ICAN for its work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its ground-breaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons. The committee acknowledged in their statement awarding the prize:

We live in a world where the risk of nuclear weapons being used is greater than it has been for a long time. Some states are modernising their nuclear arsenals, and there is a real danger that more countries will try to procure nuclear weapons, as exemplified by North Korea.

Nuclear weapons pose a constant threat to humanity and all life on earth. Through binding international agreements, the international community has previously adopted prohibitions against land mines, cluster munitions and biological and chemical weapons. Nuclear weapons are even more destructive, but have not yet been made the object of a similar international legal prohibition.

It is for its ongoing efforts to address this legal gap that ICAN was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

ICAN first opened their offices in Melbourne in 2006 and have since grown from a coalition consisting of several hundred non-government organisations, from local peace groups, to global federations from over 100 countries and representing millions of people. The Nobel Prize committee acknowledged that the coalition:

… has been a driving force in prevailing upon the world’s nations to pledge to cooperate with all relevant stakeholders in efforts to stigmatise, prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons. To date, 127 states have made such a commitment, known as the Humanitarian Pledge.

Although ICAN began in Australia, the Australian government’s track record on nuclear non-proliferation is less impressive. Australia did not participate in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. It voted against the UN Assembly’s resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty. Earlier that year Australia had attempted to derail a special UN working group on nuclear disarmament in Geneva, which adopted a report recommending the negotiation of the treaty.

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