Contributed by Ugly
It is incredible and disturbing that the Australian government and by and large the media have ignored that an Australian organization has just been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
One would have thought that this is an achievement that we should celebrate as a nation, the recipient organisation honoured and its founder, Melbourne doctor Tilman Ruff, be regarded as a hero.
Instead, there has been a wall of silence. Not as word from the prime minister. Silence form the rest of the political establishment.
Perhaps this has something to do with the award making them look bad by comparison.
Ruff, with Dimity Hawkins and the late Bill Williams, launched the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons in Melbourne and entered the international arena in 2007. ICAN became a worldwide organisation, with the support of 468 partner organisations and has made a significant impact.
A significant victory came in July this year. Its pivotal role resulted in 122 nations adopting a United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
Last Friday the Norwegian Nobel Committee cited ICAN “for its work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its groundbreaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons”.
The Australian government is opposed to the treaty and voted against it at the United Nations, because of the existing military alliance with the United States, which is presently busy building its nuclear capability to a new level and increasingly shifting to reliance on military methods to sort out diplomatic differences with other countries.
Australia, through our government is locked into this strategy and this makes the awarding of the Peace prize to an anti-nuclear weapon and anti-war organisation a political embarrassment.
Whichever way you look at it, the mean mindedness of the political leaders is the real embarrassment.
Then again, it may be that Australian foreign policy is written by someone who many regard as a madman in the White House, backed by a decisive section of the most powerful in the United States.