Members statement: Nuclear weapons


Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan): On 6 August 1945, 140 000 people were killed outright or later died after the first uranium bomb was detonated over the Japanese city of Hiroshima. More than 70 000 died when a plutonium bomb was detonated over Nagasaki three days later. Today, 73 years after those terrible events, people around the world are once again marking these dates and vowing it will never happen again.

In 2017 the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, which formed in Melbourne in 2006, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of its campaign to achieve an international treaty for the prohibition of nuclear weapons. On 7 July 2017, 122 nations, excluding Australia — almost two-thirds of the UN membership — voted to adopt the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Once it enters into force the treaty will prohibit nations from developing, testing, producing, manufacturing, transferring, possessing, stockpiling, using or threatening to use nuclear weapons or allowing nuclear weapons to be stationed on their territory.

Since then 14 nations have ratified the treaty, including New Zealand on 31 July this year. Along with many parliamentarians around the world I have signed the parliamentary pledge for the prohibition of nuclear weapons. The abolition of nuclear weapons is a global public good of the highest order and is an essential step to promote the security and wellbeing of all people.