Australia Wimps Out On Nuke Disarmament In United Nations

November 5, 2003

Australia Wimps Out On Nuke Disarmament In United Nations

Australian Peace Committee
Friends Of The Earth Australia

Australia has 'wimped out' on the nuclear disarmament issue in the United Nations General Assembly First Committee.

In a recent vote on nuclear disarmament resolutions, Australia refused to support the New Agenda Coalition's resolution entitled Towards a nuclear-weapon-free world:: a new Agenda' (document A/C.1/58/L.40/Rev.1), after voting against the inclusion of a vital paragraph on missile defence and the weaponisation of outer space.

Australia also abstained from a vote on non-strategic nuclear weapons.

These abstentions came in spite of a senate resolution urging the government to support these resolutions.

In addition, Australia has voted against a resolution put by the Non-Aligned movement on nuclear disarmament, against an Indian resolution on 'reducing nuclear dangers', and abstained on a resolution put up by Malaysia on following up the 1996 judgement by the international court of justice that nuclear weapons are illegal.

According to Friends of the Earth Australia and the Australian Peace Committee, "Australia's vote shows that we are not really serious in supporting nuclear disarmament in the UN or elsewhere. In our 'explanation of vote' we said that we were in favour of UN resolutions that as far as possible got the weapons states 'on board', but the fact is that we have failed yet another opportunity to send a powerful signal to our allies that they must take nuclear disarmament seriously. The Australian government has concluded that nuclear disarmament means monstering the DPRK, not in pushing the established weapons states to abide by their long-standing disarmament obligations."

For more information contact:

John Hallam
Ph: (02) 9567 7533

Irene Gale
Ph: (08) 8364 2291