Australians send messages of peace to Julie Bishop as she refuses to join the international push to ban nuclear weapons

Press release - 20 September, 2017
September 21 - More than 100 paper doves bearing messages to Foreign Minister Julie Bishop have dotted the lawn overlooking the Opera House at Sydney’s Botanical Gardens.

The 150 doves, each representing 100 nuclear warheads, will be sent to the minister to remind her that Australians don’t support the government’s decision to stand by as the world takes meaningful action to eliminate nuclear weapons.

Overnight the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons opened to signatures in New York. More than 120 nations signed on with Australia notably absent.

“Australia’s moral authority on the world stage is sadly diminished by Foreign Minister Julie Bishop’s decision not to sign the nuclear weapons ban treaty,” Greenpeace Australia Pacific CEO David Ritter said.

“More than 72 percent of Australians want to see these weapons gone for good, as do most countries. Julie Bishop is ignoring the will of the Australian people and the global community.”

As more than 120 nations signed the treaty to not only ban nuclear weapons but also outlaw related activities including financing, stockpiling, transferring, and the deployment of nuclear weapons, Australia sat on the sidelines.

“The current framework to control nuclear weapons has failed to stop their spread. Since the Non-Proliferation Treaty was adopted more than 40 years ago the number of nuclear powers has almost doubled and the number of nuclear warheads has continued to increase.

“Nuclear weapons are inherently indiscriminate - they are designed to kill enormous numbers of civilians. The world came together to ban chemical and biological weapons and a big majority of the Australian people and the nations of the world say that now it’s time to ban nuclear weapons too.”

“Julie Bishop should stop ignoring the wisdom of the Australian people who recognise that a world with nuclear weapons can never be truly safe”.

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Greenpeace Media Campaigner Martin Zavan

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