Australia Should Work With NZ To Eliminate Nuclear Weapons

April 9, 2002

Australia Should Work With NZ To Eliminate Nuclear Weapons

Friends Of The Earth Australia
People For Nuclear Disarmament Nsw
Campaign For International Cooperation And Disarmament (Cicd) Melb

Peace and environment groups today called on the Australian government to work with New Zealand and the New Agenda Coalition, consisting of New Zealand, South Africa, Sweden, Mexico, Brazil, Egypt, and Ireland, at this weeks 'Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Prepcom' conference in the UN.

The New Agenda coalition yesterday released a statement in which it called on the nuclear weapons states to abide by their commitments under the nuclear nonproliferation treaty to achieve the total and unequivocal elimination of their nuclear arsenals.

Yesterday, 22 peace groups, church groups, environment groups and antinuclear groups including the Uniting Church, the Lebanese Moslem Association, the ACF, PND, and Friends of the Earth called on the government to take a firm stand at this conference in favour of the elimination of nuclear weapons.

According to the groups,

"The whole aim and object of the nuclear nonproliferation treaty framework which has been in place since 1972, is the elimination of nuclear weapons so that those weapons do not eliminate us. The year 2000 NPT Review Conference final statement contained a clear commitment to that goal. The recent statement from the seven governments of the New Agenda coalition make it clear that the way forward is not to lose sight of the goal of the elimination of nuclear weapons by the deployment or testing of new nuclear weapons types, by the retention of large 'hedge' stockpiles of warheads, or by keeping thousands of warheads aimed at potential enemies as the US appears to plan to do.

The Australian government should follow the lead set by the New Agenda group in particular our neighbor New Zealand, and not support policies emanating from the US that would undermine or reverse progress toward the elimination of what is still the single most immediate threat to civilization and life."

For further information contact:

John Hallam
Ph: (02) 9567 7533

Natalie Stevens
People for Nuclear Disarmament(PND)
Mob: 0414 336 800

Pauline Mitchell
Ph: (03) 9663 3677