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Wednesday, 21 March 2012
Page: 3685


Ms GILLARD (LalorPrime Minister) (09:01): by leave—I move:

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;

(2) notes:

(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.

Nuclear weapons are a reality in our world, a real challenge to our resolve to build a better world, a challenge which needs to be faced by all nations, one not to be ignored and one Australia cannot and will not ignore. We are realistic about eliminating nuclear weapons. It will be difficult, it will take time and ultimately it will require a stable, international security environment. But it can be done. Indeed, progress has been made. There are many fewer nuclear warheads in the world today than there were in 1989.

That is why Australia supports the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, the International Atomic Energy Agency and the disarmament initiatives of the United States and the nuclear weapons states themselves. It is why Australia supports the United Nations Security Council's measures against the nuclear programs of Iran and North Korea. It is why Australia has its own sanctions targeting the programs of proliferation in these three countries. It is why we are introducing additional sanctions measures against Iran compatible with those of the EU. It is why we urge Iran to comply with the United Nations Security Council resolutions applying to it and its IAEA obligations. It is why Australia also actively supports the Financial Action Task Force and other international measures to combat the financing of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. It is why Australia supports President Obama's call to secure all at-risk nuclear materials by 2014 and the commitments made at the 2010 Nuclear Security Summit in Washington. We support all of these measures because these measures have made a difference and because they continue to do so. Australia has made a difference in past years, including through our leading role in the negotiation of major international arms control instruments such as the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and the IAEA's additional protocol.

We have a strong and longstanding record of activism and achievement on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation: in 1972, when we joined with New Zealand at the International Court of Justice in actions against nuclear testing in the Pacific; in 1995, when we established the Canberra Commission on the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons; in 2008, when with Japan we established and supported the independent International Commission on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament; in 2010, when we again partnered with Japan to establish the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative. We take our nuclear obligations seriously. That is why Australia exports uranium only for peaceful purposes under the strictest safeguards now and into the future and why we will make a difference again next week, combating the threat of nuclear terrorism when I participate with other world leaders at the Seoul Nuclear Security Summit.

I commend the members of the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties, including its chair, the member for Wills, for their tireless advocacy of non-proliferation and disarmament that led to this motion. Now today this parliament, with this motion, can state our ambition to make a difference in future years too. That is why I have moved this motion and that is why I welcome the fact the Leader of the Opposition will second it.

A world without nuclear weapons is a long-term commitment. We may not see it, any of us, in our time in this House. Indeed, we may not live to see it. But one day our successors should say of nuclear fear: the threat has passed, the game is over—never again. I commend this motion to the House.