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International Commission on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament.

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Prime Minister of Australia

Media Release

International Commission on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament

09 July 2008

I am pleased to announce that Japan will join Australia as Co-chair of the International Commission on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament.

At our bilateral meeting tonight Prime Minister Fukuda informed me that Ms Yoriko Kawaguchi has agreed to be co chair of the Commission.

Ms Kawaguchi is highly respected and experienced political leader in Japan and a current member of the upper house of the Japanese Parliament.

As a former Environment Minister and Foreign Minister Ms Kawaguchi has a wealth of political and international experience that will greatly assist the work of the commission.

Ms Kawaguchi will join Gareth Evans as Co-chair of the International Commission which I announced after visiting Hiroshima last month.

The Commission aims to reinvigorate the global effort against the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and to strengthen the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) by seeking to shape a global consensus in the lead up to the 2010 NPT Review Conference.

These are goals that Australia and Japan both share, as key partners working together with other like-minded countries to advance the goals of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.

The NPT is the most significant and successful arms control instrument of the nuclear age. While remaining the cornerstone of global disarmament efforts, the NPT is facing increased pressure and strain by the actions of countries such as North Korea and Iran.

The NPT's review is an opportunity for Australia, Japan and other like-minded countries to ensure the treaty provides a robust framework for nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation that will serve us into the future.

In our discussion, Prime Minister Fukuda and I reaffirmed our commitment to working together through this Commission to strengthen the global nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime and to reinforce the NPT, including working to achieve a successful outcome of the 2010 NPT Review Conference.

I look forward to working with Japan, Ms Kawaguchi, Mr Evans, together with other friends and partners, in taking forward this very important initiative.

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