Peak health organisations, representing hundreds of thousands of members, today signed on to a call for Australia to commit to signing the 2017 UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. The current government has refused to sign this ground-breaking global agreement, and the ALP’s position is expected to be a highly contentious issue at next week’s national conference.
The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF), the country’s largest union, the Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA), the Rehabilitation Medicine Society of Australia and New Zealand (RMSANZ) and the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) have today signed the Healthcare Organisations Statement to Ban Nuclear Weapons, an initiative of the Medical Association for Prevention of War (MAPW, Australia).
ANMF Federal Secretary, Annie Butler, says: “With millions of colleagues around the world, including in the International Council of Nurses and the World Medical Association, we strongly support the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. The treaty represents a significant step toward eliminating the most destructive weapons ever created. We call on all governments, including our own, to sign and ratify the Treaty.”
PHAA CEO, Terry Slevin, says: “Nuclear weapons remain one of the most significant threats to humanity and the environment in which we live. Their eradication is an urgent public and planetary health issue, and the treaty is an historic step which all governments should support and join – Australia being no exception.”
MAPW Australia President, Dr Sue Wareham, says: “Peak organisations representing hundreds of thousands of health professionals have today taken action to prevent humanitarian catastrophe and address the nuclear threat to public health. MAPW urges the government and opposition to commit to signing the treaty.”
On Monday, the Australian Medical Association also called for Australia to sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.