UNIC Canberra joined with the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), as well as the Australian Red Cross to give a briefing on the current status of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons organized by the Austrian Embassy in Canberra. As noted by the UNIC Director, the Treaty, which was adopted with the votes of 122 States, now has over 50 signatories and will come into force once it is ratified by that same number.
The Treaty, which can be seen as a historic development at the UN, is the first multilateral legally-binding instrument for nuclear disarmament to have been negotiated in 20 years. It has, he noted, filled and important legal gap, yet he urged, the political gap now needs to be filled. Professor Richard Tanter of ICAN spoke of his organization’s work in moving the treaty to adoption and also the work that civil society had ahead of it to keep up the momentum of the Treaty, while Tara Gutman, from the Australian Red Cross, spoke of how humanitarian law had provided a framework for abolishing nuclear weapons and how her organization would be continuing to pursue this avenue to persuade more nations to join the Treaty.