Riding for disarmament
Benalla’s Dr Tilman Ruff will bring a Nobel Peace Prize to BPACC in an effort to raise awareness and to call on Australia to sign and ratify the global nuclear weapon ban treaty.
The prize was won by ICAN, the Melbourne-born International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, in 2017.
ICAN was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for its role in the adoption of the landmark Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons by the United Nations — an effort led by co-founder Dr Tilman Ruff.
As part of the campaign a team of cyclists are undertaking a 900 km bike ride from Melbourne to Canberra to raise awareness of the Treaty and Australia’s role in ensuring it is upheld.
The cyclists will be highly visible with hand-sewn bike flags and decorations, and are stopping en route to share the medal, hold events and pot luck dinners and to talk to communities about the new disarmament treaty.
The event at BPACC will be a stop on that ride, in which part.
When discussing the ride ICAN’s Australian director Gem Romuld said nuclear disarmament was unfinished business and the new treaty provided a fresh chance to finally get rid of our worst weapon.
‘‘Many people are unaware of this important new treaty so we’re biking to Canberra to raise awareness, build support, and to share Australia’s first home-grown Nobel Peace Prize,’’ Mr Romuld said.
Dr Ruff said he was pleased that nuclear weapons were finally prohibited along with chemical and biological weapons, landmines and cluster munitions.
‘‘It’s time for Australia to get on the right side of history and join the ban on nuclear weapons,’’ Dr Ruff said.
To conclude the journey and mark the first anniversary of the treaty opening for signature at the UN, the riders will be joined by local and interstate supporters in Canberra to take the mess- Dr Ruff is taking age to Parliament House on September 20.
The Nobel Peace March will be escorted by a fire engine and ICAN flags flying on Commonwealth Avenue, thanks to the support of the ACT Chief Minister.
The BPACC expo opens from 10 am on September 7 and will include the Nobel Peace Prize medal, short films and a 13-panel display describing the inspiring movement that led to the nuclear weapon ban treaty.
That evening, between 6pm and 7pm, the community is welcome to attend a presentation on the work of ICAN.
Speakers including Dr Tilman Ruff, Nancy Atkin from the Medical Association for the Prevention of War, and Benalla Rural City Mayor Don Firth.
For more details on the Nobel Peace Ride, visit www.icanw.org/au/ nobelpeaceride