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Notice given 6 December 2010

338  Senator Ludlam: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—With reference to the role of the Australian Safeguards and Non-Proliferation Office (ASNO) and nuclear weapons proliferation in Burma, and specifically referring to the statement made by Mr Allan McKinnon, First Assistant Secretary, International Security Division, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, in May 2010 during the Budget estimates hearings of the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee, in which he indicated that the Government shared international concern about Burma’s alleged nuclear problem, ‘but the most we can do at this time is to monitor developments in Burma’:

(1) (a) What efforts have been made to monitor developments in Burma relating to its alleged nuclear weapons program since May 2010; and (b) what role has ASNO played.

(2) In regard to the September 2010 International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Assembly in Vienna, Austria, where the Burmese military junta’s statement included a refutation of allegations of a nuclear weapons program, what are the steps that can be taken by the: (a) IAEA; and (b) Minister, given that Burma now has two obsolete IAEA agreements and has failed to execute the ‘Additional Protocol’.

(3) Given that the Burmese military junta also shields itself from questions and inspections using another out-of-date agreement called a ‘Small Quantities Protocol’ which exempts states that only have small amounts of nuclear materials and no nuclear facilities from IAEA inspections and close oversight, how has Australia used its position on the Board of Governors, and its mission in Vienna to address this potentially very serious proliferation issue in our region.