Even as Australia is poised to sign an upcoming United Nations treaty banning nuclear weapons, the United States government has tried to sway it from its current position as the agreement could throw a wrench in several defense agreements involving the US and allied nations.
According to a statement from the US embassy in Canberra, the aforementioned agreement leaves no room for extended deterrence relationships, which the Americans have deemed crucial for global security.
An embassy spokesperson added that the treaty would be instrumental in further dividing the international community. While the US government shares the desire of allied nations to push for nuclear disarmament, it remains adamantly against a total ban on nuclear weapons.
Likewise, the US expressed its belief that moving towards nuclear disarmament cannot be separated from current threats against global peace and security.
The treaty in question involves an all-encompassing ban against the development, testing, stockpiling, and use of nuclear weapons, as well as the threat to use such weapons or the extension of assistance to nations threatening to use such weapons. To date, the treaty has been ignored by nations who actively have nuclear weapons, as well as their allies.
At Odds with Albanese
The US’ call for Australia to switch positions regarding the UN treaty is seen to be at odds with current Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s personal involvement in the global campaign to completely do away with nuclear weapons.
Albanese’s stance against nuclear weapons and active participation in anti-nuke advocacy was made clear when he referred to such instruments of war as the most destructive, inhumane, and indiscriminate weapons ever created.
Albanese also recently told the press that the way Russian President Vladimir Putin has threatened to use tactical nuclear weapons in the ongoing conflict in the Balkans is a stark reminder that the mere existence of such weapons threatens global security and peaceful world order.
This statement was lauded by Gem Romuld, Australian country director for Nobel Peace Prize recipient the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. Romuld declared that Albanese clearly understood the adverse impact nuclear weapons had on global security and the imperative to get rid of these for good.
A Neighbor Weighs In
The government of New Zealand, Australia’s closest neighbor, also agreed with Albanese’s drive against nukes, and that it would welcome new ratifications to the pending agreement, seeing these as a step forward towards a world without the threat of nuclear annihilation.
The country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade also reiterated its call to all nations who have yet to sign and ratify the UN treaty to sign it as soon as possible, and NZ Minister for Disarmament and Arms Control Phil Twyford recently met with his Australian counterpart and other officials.