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Australia's Nobel Peace Prize Winners Expected A Little More Love From The PM

On Friday the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons became the first Australian-founded organisation to be awarded the Nobel, but there's still pretty much crickets from the PM.

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The Australian recipients of a 2017 Nobel Peace Prize, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), has largely been ignored by the prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, since it won the award on Friday.

FYI, the Australian prime minister has declined to congratulate us on our Nobel Peace Prize. @TurnbullMalcolm #nuclearban #nobelprize

This is the first time an Australian-founded organisation has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and people within ICAN think Turnbull's reaction is due to the fact Australia has not signed the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons has the support of over 100 states and aims to outlaw nuclear weapons.

A spokesperson for ICAN told BuzzFeed News it was "shameful" that the PM could not acknowledge and congratulate the organisation.

"The Australian government claims to rely on the US nuclear arsenal for our security," said Gem Romuld, the outreach coordinator at ICAN. "[It is] an arrangement that the new treaty rejects because it legitimises nuclear weapons."

At the UN general assembly last month, minister for foreign affairs Julie Bishop did not attend the signing ceremony for the treaty.

A spokesperson for the prime minister said in a statement that the Treaty of Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons would not advance nuclear disarmament and would not enhance security.

"The Australian government shares, with the international community, the goal of a peaceful and secure world free of nuclear weapons," said the spokesperson.

"We acknowledge the commitment of ICAN and its supporters to promoting awareness of the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons.

"However, Australia’s position on the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons is clear and well known. In our view, the treaty will not advance nuclear disarmament and will not enhance security but may well harm the cornerstone Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty regime.

"So long as the threat of nuclear attack exists, US extended deterrence will serve Australia's fundamental national security interests."


On Monday, prime minister Turnbull took time out to call Washington Capitals player Nathan Walker, the first Australian to play in the NHL.

.@NathanWalks10 was honored with a call from Australian Prime Minister @TurnbullMalcolm for being the first Aussie… https://t.co/B70NtudAgz




Brad Esposito is a news reporter for BuzzFeed and is based in Sydney, Australia.

Contact Brad Esposito at bradley.esposito@buzzfeed.com.

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