Australia will attend the first meeting of states parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) in Vienna next week as an observer. ICAN welcomed the government’s decision to engage with this critical meeting – as a step towards signature and ratification.
Australia’s newly elected prime minister, Anthony Albanese, is a long-time champion of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. The Australian Labor Party, which he leads, made a pre-election pledge to sign and ratify the TPNW in government.
A majority of the elected members of the new government have signed ICAN’s parliamentary pledge, committing them to work to bring Australia on board the treaty. One of the pledge-takers, Susan Templeman MP, will head the official Australian delegation.
Dozens of Australian unions, as well as the Australian Council of Trade Unions, have also backed calls for Australia’s ratification.
ICAN Australia campaigner Jemila Rushton, who is in Vienna for the historic meeting, welcomed the government’s decision to participate. “We’re delighted that Australia will be officially represented at this important meeting. It’s a first step towards our country becoming a TPNW state party,” she said.