Australia’s Prime Minister introduced a resolution in their House of Representatives yesterda, calling for Australia to do more on nuclear weapon issues. There are some sad things missing though…
While the Australian motion on nuclear weapons is a positive step, what’s seriously missing from this is a necessary chastisement of Australia’s uranium mining industry for their wilingness to sell uranium to nuclear armed states, as well as countries not part of the NPT.
It is also a pity that the Prime Minister failed to specially note that Australia is one of the countries ‘protected’ by the U.S. nuclear umbrella. While the motion calls for a further reduction of nucelar weapons in security strategies, it does not mention that this also includes Australia’s security strategy.
That said, the resolution itself isn’t all bad, and it does mention negotiations on a nucelar weapons convention. Congratulations to all who worked on it.
The text of yesterday’s motion in the Australian House of Representatives, moved by Prime Minister Julia Gillard and supported by the opposition.
House of Representatives, Parliament of Australia
21 March 2012
2. NUCLEAR NON-PROLIFERATION AND DISARMAMENT
Ms Gillard (Prime Minister), by leave, moved-
That this House:
(1) affirms its support for the:
(a) goal of a world free of nuclear weapons; and
(b) Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) as the essential foundation for the achievement of nuclear disarmament and the cornerstone of the nuclear non-proliferation regime;
(a) ratification by the United States and Russia of the Treaty on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (New START) on 5 February 2011;
(b) unilateral nuclear arsenal reductions announced by France and the United Kingdom;
(c) the strong working relationship between Australia and Japan on issues of non-proliferation and disarmament, including more recently by establishing the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative to take forward the 2010 NPT Review Conference outcomes; and
(d) the unanimous views presented by the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties in Report 106 on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament; and
(3) calls for:
(a) further cuts in all categories of nuclear weapons and a continuing reduction of their roles in national security policies;
(b) states outside the NPT to join the Treaty as non-nuclear weapon states;
(c) ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty by all states yet to do so;
(d) the immediate commencement and early conclusion of negotiations for a verifiable treaty banning the production of fissile material for weapons purposes;
(e) stronger international measures to address serious NPT non-compliance issues;
(f) Iran, Syria and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to cooperate fully with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and to comply with United Nations Security Council resolutions;
(g) political and financial support for a strengthened IAEA safeguards regime, including universalisation of the additional protocol;
(h) further investigation of the merits and risks of nuclear fuel cycle multilateralisation;
(i) exploration of legal frameworks for the abolition of nuclear weapons, including the possibility of a nuclear weapons convention, as prospects for multilateral disarmament improve;
(j) efforts to establish a Middle East zone free from weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems, freely arrived at by all regional states; and
(k) efforts to reduce the threat of nuclear terrorism within the framework of the IAEA and the Nuclear Security Summits.