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Australia must sign the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

Australia must urgently sign and ratify the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons now that it has become international law, with the 50th nation - Honduras - officially ratifying the treaty at a ceremony over the weekend.

The Australian Greens have welcomed the news that the Treaty will officially come into effect on the 22nd January 2021.

"This is an historic day in the ongoing campaign for peace, and one that should be celebrated," Steele-John said.

"There is no excuse for Australia's continued abstinence; we must urgently sign and ratify the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons now that it is set to become International Law.

"This year marks 75 years since atomic weapons were first tested and used to end human life. A significant, and terrible, milestone.

"Seventy-five years on, it's time to put down these inexcusable weapons - weapons so dangerous that if deployed they would change the face of our planet forever - embrace our common humanity and work together to solve the problems that confront us all.

"The treaty provides a framework for the elimination of these weapons and the recognition of the impact they've had on First Nations peoples around the world. From nuclear testing in Maralinga to uranium mining in Kakadu, our nuclear history is built on the shameless mistreatment and displacement of First Nations people.

"In 2019 alone, the world's nine nuclear powers spent $73 billion, or $139,000 a minute, on the expansion and maintenance of their nuclear arsenals.

"Given we are right now experiencing a global pandemic, where so many around the world are struggling against poverty, and the ongoing threat of the climate crisis, we know there are better ways to spend these resources.

"With the United States - the world's largest nuclear power - urging nations to withdraw support for the Treaty just days before receiving its 50th signature, Australia make the choice to demand a peaceful future for all of us by urgently signing and ratifying the UN Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons."

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