* Text below is reproduced from an ICAN e-bulletin.

Ninety organisations, including Beyond Nuclear Initiative, have joined ICAN to call for Australia to sign and ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

In an open letter addressed to Malcolm Turnbull the groups warn of the “existential threat” that nuclear weapons pose. “There are no safe hands for nuclear weapons. We face a clear choice: continue to let these weapons spread and risk their inevitable use, or eliminate them”.

The letter is signed by a range of health, union, student, Indigenous, humanitarian, environment and faith organisations from across Australia. It highlights the urgency of disarmament amidst current heightened risks of nuclear conflict.

There is no argument – moral, ethical or rational – for the retention of weapons with the capability to end life on Earth. No person or group of people should wield that kind of power,” Stuart McMillan, President of the Uniting Church in Australia.

“The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons provides the necessary vehicle for nations to walk away from these unacceptable, and now illegal, weapons. Australia has signed the treaties banning chemical and biological weapons, landmines and cluster munitions. It’s time to take genuine action against these weapons by signing and ratifying the ban treaty,” said Tilman Ruff from ICAN.

The signatories to the letter include World Vision Australia, Oxfam Australia, Save the Children Australia, ChildFund Australia, the Australian Council of Trade Unions and the Uniting Church in Australia.

The letter was sent to the Prime Minister on Friday and tabled in the House of Representatives by Anthony Albanese MP yesterday. It featured in this Guardian article: Nobel peace prize winners urge Australia to sign treaty banning nuclear weapons.

Thank you to all who contributed to this letter. Let’s keep the pressure up!