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Nonproliferation Commission a blast from the past.



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Mon, 20th October 2008 NON-PROLIFERATION COMMISSION A BLAST FROM THE PAST

Senator the Hon Helen Coonan Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs Manager of Opposition Business in the Senate

Foreign Affairs Shadow Minister Helen Coonan hopes to see some measurable progress from the first International Commission on Non-Proliferation and Nuclear Disarmament meeting, held in Sydney this afternoon.

“Australia has had a continuous and long standing commitment to nuclear non-proliferation,” Senator Coonan said.

“However, this Commission, set up by Mr Rudd, simply resurrects previous Labor Government initiatives, such as the Canberra Commission.

“Australia is active within the United Nations and our actions, such as sanctions, on countries - Iran is an example - where we are concerned about proliferation, demonstrates our commitment.

“It is disappointing to see that this Commission of Mr Rudd’s so far simply appears to be a group of concerned notables who the Rudd Government expects to successfully move nuclear-weapons states towards disarmament.

“What is really needed is a plan of action brought to the debate on nuclear proliferation.

The Commission is due to discuss the expanded use of civil nuclear energy as a result of climate change.

“Let’s not forget, the Rudd Labor Government backed away from the agreement to sell uranium to India for clean energy solutions, an important step in the fight against climate change given India’s level of carbon emissions,” Senator Coonan said.

“We will have to wait and see whether the Commission, which has been given $3.5 million from the Government, actually delivers any measurable outcomes - otherwise it will founder as just another one of Mr Rudd’s typical talkfests with no end date.”