Saturday, November 5th, 2011 - Australian Red Cross
Australian Red Cross has launched a microsite demonstrating the devastating humanitarian impact of a nuclear explosion, as part of its campaign urging Australians to lead the world in calls to ban the use of nuclear weapons.

‘Worldwide today there are at least 20,000 nuclear weapons in existence, around 3,000 of them on launch-ready alert, but there is currently no specific law or treaty banning their use. Australian Red Cross is asking the international community to support moves for a ban on their use,’ said Australian Red Cross CEO Robert Tickner.

‘Nuclear weapons don’t discriminate and a nuclear war would have catastrophic humanitarian and environmental consequences, which would span generations,’ he said.

Australian Red Cross is calling on Australians in cities, towns and rural communities across the country to log on and join the push to ban the use of these weapons. It has just launched a new microsite, which includes an online referendum, at www.targetnuclearweapons.org.au.

'The microsite has a space for users to see the devastating humanitarian consequences of the use of nuclear weapons, and to hear the stories of survivors. Australian Red Cross is also asking supporters to share their Facebook and Twitter social networks to help spread the message, in a kind of a social media explosion, on one day next month, 14 November.

‘The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, which has millions of volunteers, supporters and staff worldwide, has a specific mandate to educate the public, and work with governments, on international humanitarian law, which are the laws of war. Australian Red Cross believes the use of nuclear weapons is inconsistent with these laws,’ said Mr Tickner.

Supporting the campaign is Yami Lester, a survivor of the British Government’s nuclear weapons testing in South Australia in the 1950s, and Junko Morimoto, a Hiroshima survivor now living in Australia. Both were children when they were caught up in a nuclear detonation. Also backing the project are Aussie celebrities like Ruby Rose, Mike Fanning, Ash Grunwald, Mike Goldman and Blue King Brown.

‘The people and governments of the world have shown that progress can be made by putting in place significant new international humanitarian law conventions targeting land mines and cluster munitions, but to date the challenge of nuclear weapons has so far eluded us,’ Mr Tickner said.

‘In November representatives of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, the world’s largest humanitarian organisation, which operates in more than 185 countries, will meet in Geneva. Australian Red Cross will use the results of the referendum and 14 November social media explosion to demonstrate the public concern about the nuclear weapons issue. We will also be asking Red Cross societies all over the world to take the campaign back to their communities,’ he said.

For media enquiries or to arrange interviews contact Red Cross media adviser Kim Batchelor or [email protected]

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Australian Red Cross


Australian Red Cross is part of the world's largest humanitarian organisation. Red Cross is there for people in need. Relief in times of crisis, be it big or small. Care and commitment when it's needed most.
Kim Batchelor
P: 0292294149
M: 0457 542 113
W: www.redcross.org.au

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nuclear weapons, humanitarian

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