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Australian signature of disarmament convention



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MINISTER FOR

FOREIGN AFFAIRS

No. M43 Date 13 A p ril 1982

•A » . A U S T R A L I A /t>

NEWS RELEASE THE HON. TONY STREET, M.P.

AUSTRALIAN SIGNATURE OF DISARMAMENT CONVENTION

The M i n i s t e r f o r F o r e i g n A f f a i r s / t he Hon. Tony

S t r e e t MP/ announced t oda y t h a t on 8 A p r i l A u s t r a l i a had

s i gn e d a U n i t e d N a t i o n s Co n v e n t i o n g o v e r n i n g t he use of

c e r t a i n c o n v e n t i o n a l weapons. The f u l l t i t l e of t he Conv e nt i o n

i s t h e Co n v e n t i o n on P r o h i b i t i o n s or R e s t r i c t i o n s on t he Use of

C e r t a i n C o n v e n t i o n a l Weapons Which May Be Deemed t o be

E x c e s s i v e l y I n j u r i o u s or t o H a v e . I n d i s c r i m i n a t e E f f e c t s .

The Co n v e n t i o n which was concl uded i n Oc t ober 1980

a f t e r n e a r l y a decade of n e g o t i a t i o n p r o h i b i t s or r e s t r i c t s

t h e use of c e r t a i n t y p e s of c o n v e n t i o n a l weapons. I t s p r i n c i p a l

aim i s t o p r o t e c t c i v i l i a n s a g a i n s t t he e f f e c t s of c e r t a i n

s p e c i f i e d c o n v e n t i o n a l weapons i n c l u d i n g mines and booby t r a p s /

i n c e n d i a r y weapons and non x-^ray d e t e c t a b l e f r a g m e n t s .

Mr S t r e e t s a i d t h a t a l t h o u g h l i m i t e d i n scope t he

C o n v e n t i o n / which was adopt ed by c onsensus/ n o n e t h e l e s s

r e p r e s e n t s a maj or advance i n t h e n e g o t i a t i o n o f r e s t r a i n t

agr eement s i n t he f i e l d of h u m a n i t a r i a n l a w . He emphasi sed

t h a t t he Government r emai ns f u l l y commi t t ed t o t he n e g o t i a t i o n

of f u r t h e r agr eement s on h u m a n i t a r i a n law i n armed c o n f l i c t and

t o t he n e g o t i a t i o n of b a l a n c e d and v e r i f i a b l e di sar mament and

arms c o n t r o l a g r e e me n t s .

On t he s u b j e c t of d i s a r m a m e n t / Mr S t r e e t s a i d t h a t

A u s t r a l i a i n t e n d e d t o p l a y an a c t i v e and c o n s t r u c t i v e r o l e i n t he

Second U n i t e d N a t i o n s S p e c i a l Se s s i on on Di sarmament which i s t o

be h e l d i n New York i n June 1 9 8 2 .