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AUKUS nuclear submarine plan

Hear the calls to keep our oceans and seas nuclear free: 

Our Pacific neighbours call for a nuclear-free ocean.

“If You Are Not Against Us, Be For Us”: A Call from the Pacific Conference of Churches on the International Day for the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons - Sunday 26 September 2021

Rev. James Bhagwan, General Secretary, Pacific Conference of Churches has shared this reflection:

….In today’s text from Mark (9:38-50), the disciples seek to exclude and chastise someone casting out demons in Jesus’ name (ironically, something they were not able to do earlier) because he is not part of the “chosen twelve”. It is suggested that he might have originally been one of the followers of John the Baptist or perhaps one of the “Seventy-two” that Jesus had sent out on mission (Luke 10:1-8). The point for the disciples is that he is not part of their group, their alliance.

Jesus’ response is, “Do not stop him; for no one who does a deed of power in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me. Whoever is not against us is for us. For truly I tell you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ will by no means lose the reward.” (Mark 9:39-41)

Again Jesus is flipping the commonly accepted perspective. From a Christian perspective, it is not, “if you’re not with us, you’re against us,” rather it is “if you are not against us, then you are for us.”

The flip is about intentionality: an intention to exclude versus an intention to include. The geopolitical chess game referred to above has exclusion as it’s intention. Here I refer not to China but to the Pacific Islands. We are included only in the game as the chessboard.

The rhetoric of inclusion is well used – family, vuvale, partner, neighbour. But beyond the words, the intention is clear. Even the cup of water given to us, is not because we are part of the community, it is given with a clear expectation that we must only drink from that cup, and the flow of water into the cup and the frequency of when that cup is offered is conditional on our being “with them”.... 

To those nations who claim to be for us, if your true intention is to be for us, then be for us. Be with us. Sign the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, commit to the ambitions that must be meet for a solution to the climate emergency.

Show us, that you are not against us.

Read the full  pdf PCC Statement If You Are Not Against Us Be For Us (209 KB)  here


In the Media

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons warns the plan will isolate Australia from its regional neighbours who want a nuclear-free Pacific...

Across the Pacific, where thousands live daily with the legacy of nuclear testing and disposal of nuclear waste, there was disappointment.

 “Shame Australia, Shame. How can you call us your ‘vuvale’ when you know your ‘family’ stands for a nuclear-free and independent Pacific?” said Reverend James Bhagwan, the general secretary for the Pacific Conference of Churches

Read the full Guardian article: Australian nuclear submarine plan ‘wrong direction at the wrong time’, Nobel prize-winning group says


Open forum: nuclear submarine deal

ICAN are hosting an open forum on the topic to hear a range of perspectives from experts and regional partners on the response and implications of the deal for nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament.

Speakers include:

  • Muhadi Sugiono, Gadjah Mada University, Indonesia,
  • Prof Richard Tanter from the Nautilus Institute, Melbourne, and
  • Professor Marianne Hanson from the University of Queensland and ICAN Australia co-chair.

When: Tuesday 12 October at the following times:

  • Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Hobart: 6-7:30pm AEDT
  • Brisbane: 5-6:30pm AEST
  • Perth: 3-4:30pm AWST
  • Adelaide: 5:30-7pm ACDT
  • Darwin: 4:30-6pm ACST

The call is loud and clear for Scott Morrison and Peter Dutton to guarantee they will not pursue a domestic nuclear weapons program, nor host another country's nuclear weapons, by joining the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Join with ICAN on 12 October 2021.

Register: online here


Read more about the submarine deal: 

and a couple of excellent articles focusing on the nuclear proliferation aspects of the agreement 

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