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Working for a world free of nuclear weapons.



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Minister for Defence Media Mail List ------------------------------------------------------------------------

THE HON. WARREN SNOWDON MP Minister for Defence Science and Personnel

Saturday, 12 July 2008 093/2008

WORKING FOR A WORLD FREE OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS

Speaking at the Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament International conference and council meeting today in Pugwash, Novia Scotia, Canada, the Minister for Defence Science and Personnel, the Hon. Warren Snowdon MP, reiterated Australia’s commitment to global nuclear disarmament “In the past decade the world has not paid adequate attention to nuclear weapons,” said Mr Snowdon.

“While there have been welcome reductions by nuclear weapon states, there are still approximately 26,000 weapons in nuclear arsenals around the world.

“The human, environmental and economic consequences of the use, accidental or otherwise, of just one of these weapons is unthinkable.

“Australia has a solid record in multilateral disarmament and non-proliferation, and as a middle power, we are determined to reinvigorate the effort against nuclear weapons,” said Mr Snowdon.

Last month Prime Minister Rudd announced that Australia would establish an International Commission on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament and Mr Snowdon said it signals the active role Australia intends to take in addressing global security challenges.

“Already we have received expressions for support for the Commision from Nuclear Weapon States such as the United States and the United Kingdom, as well as EU states and regional neighbours like Indonesia.

“Its aim is to shape a global consensus in the lead-up to the 2010 Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty Review Conference. The Review Conference provides an opportunity to ensure the treaty continues to provide a robust framework for nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.”

“Beyond the Commission, Australia will advocate, as a middle power and as an ally to the United States, for continued progress on disarmament and non-proliferation,” Mr Snowdon said.

Mr Snowdon said that Australia sees entry-into-force of the Comprehensive-Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty and commencement of negotiations on a Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty as immediate disarmament priorities.

Media note: Mr Snowdon’s full speech will be available from: http://www.defence.gov.au/media/

Media contacts: Kate Sieper (Warren Snowdon) 0488 484 689 (in Canada) Lauren Walker (Warren Snowdon) 02 6277 7620 or 0458 231 650 (in Canberra)