Australia Drops Opposition To Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapons

After years of voting "no"

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Australia has dropped its opposition to a treaty banning nuclear weapons in a vote at the United Nations in New York.

While Australia was yet to officially join the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, its shift in votong “abstain” after five years of “no” has been seen as a sign of progress.

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Under the previous Coalition Government, Australia repeatedly voted with the United States against the treaty.

Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong said through a spokesperson that Australia had “a long and proud commitment to the global non-proliferation and disarmament regime” and the Albanese government supported the treaty’s “ambition of a world without nuclear weapons”.

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons is a considerably new international agreement that implements a ban on developing, testing, stockpiling, using or threatening to use nuclear weapons – or helping other countries to use nuclear weapons in any form.

In 2016, Australia voted against initial negotiations on the proposed new treaty and did not participate in talks in 2017.

The treaty currently has 91 signatories, 68 of which have formally ratified it, and entered into force last year.

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28 October 2022

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