MORE than 80 per cent of Australians support a legally binding treaty to ban the use of nuclear weapons, according to comprehensive research on attitudes towards nuclear weapons released by Australian Red Cross today.
The overwhelming majority – 84 per cent – of the 1,001 Australians interviewed in the nation-wide survey feel the world would be a safer place if there were no nuclear weapons.
A resounding 88 per cent said there would be no winners in a nuclear war given the devastating humanitarian consequences that would result. People over 65 were significantly more likely to feel there would be no winners in a nuclear war.
“The message from the Australian community is clear,” said Australian Red Cross’ CEO Robert Tickner. “It’s time for the international community to create a treaty to ban the use of nuclear weapons and ensure they are not passed as an inheritance of horror to future generations.”
“Even a limited nuclear war would have immense human, environmental and agricultural destructive consequences transcending national boundaries. This situation would be beyond the power of governments and aid agencies to respond with any meaningful humanitarian assistance.”
Since their first use in Hiroshima in August 1945, Red Cross Red Crescent has voiced deep humanitarian concerns about nuclear weapons. While other weapons such as chemical weapons, land mines and cluster munitions have been conclusively dealt with by international treaties, nuclear weapons have not.
The International Red Cross Red Crescent Movement has been appealing to governments to prohibit the use of and eliminate nuclear weapons through a legally binding international agreement for some time.
Movement representatives – including Australian Red Cross delegates – will join governments and non-governmental organisations from around the world on 8 and 9 December when they come together in Vienna to further examine the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons.
KEY SURVEY FINDINGS:
· 81% of Australians support a legally binding treaty to ban the use of nuclear weapons.
· 84% feel the world would be a safer place if there were no nuclear weapons.
· 88% said there would be no winners in a nuclear war given the devastating humanitarian consequences.
· 43% rate the risk of an accidental explosion or intentional use of a nuclear weapon as high or medium.
Source: Australian Red Cross