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Australia urges India and Pakistan to do more

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FA126 29 SEPTEMBER 1998


I welcome the recent statements by India and Pakistan at the United Nations General Assembly indicating that both countries are moving towards adherence to the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.

I urge both countries now to take the necessary steps to sign and ratify the CTBT as soon as possible and without any conditions.

The intention by India and Pakistan to adhere to the CTBT is gratifying but Australia has a firm expectation that both countries will make further moves to demonstrate clear support for the international nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament regime, particularly through the steps laid down in United Nations Security Council Resolution 1172 of 6 June 1998.

The statements by India and Pakistan vindicate once again the value of the CTBT as a benchmark of internationally acceptable behaviour in the area of nuclear testing. Ratification of the CTBT by India and Pakistan would be a critical step along the path towards bringing the CTBT into force. Under the terms of the Treaty, forty-four specified countries, including India and Pakistan, must ratify the Treaty before it can enter into force.

In condemning the nuclear tests conducted by India and Pakistan earlier this year, Australia called on both countries to desist from any further testing and to sign and ratify the CTBT as soon as possible. I am gratified that India and Pakistan appear to be beginning to listen to the clear message from Australia and the overwhelming majority o f the international community.

150 countries have signed the CTBT and, of these, 21 have ratified. Australia ratified the Treaty on 9 July 1998.

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