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Australia to sign UN treaty on plastic explosives.



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ATTORNEY-GENERAL THE HON PHILIP RUDDOCK MP

NEWS RELEASE

Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600  Telephone (02) 6277 7300  Fax (02) 6273 4102 www.law.gov.au/ag

11 October 2005 184/2005

AUSTRALIA TO SIGN UN TREATY ON PLASTIC EXPLOSIVES

Australia has further strengthened its reputation as a leader in counter-terrorism initiatives in the region after taking an important step towards signing a United Nations treaty on the control of plastic explosives.

Attorney-General Philip Ruddock tabled a National Interest Analysis (NIA) on the United Nations Convention on the Marking of Plastic Explosives for the Purpose of Detection in Parliament today.

“The Convention aims to deter the misuse of plastic explosives by requiring that a detection agent such as an odorant is incorporated into their manufacture,” Mr Ruddock said.

“This makes the explosives easier to detect and more difficult for would-be terrorists to smuggle on board an aircraft or into other targets.”

The Convention was drafted by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) after the bombing of Pan-Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie in Scotland in 1988. First signed at Montreal in 1991, the Convention has been generally in force since 1998 and now has 120 signatories.

Mr Ruddock said the action moved the Government a step closer to delivering its election commitment to sign and implement the Convention.

The tabling in Parliament of a NIA is the first step in the domestic treaty-making process towards the accession of a Convention. Once the NIA and Convention have been tabled they are referred to the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT).

JSCOT will conduct a review, call for submissions from the public and report back to Parliament before Australia’s formal accession to the Convention.

Media Contact: Charlie McKillop (02 6277 7300/0419 278 715