Senate Motions On Nuke Weapons Welcomed

October 15, 2003

Senate Motions On Nuke Weapons Welcomed

Friends Of The Earth Australia
Australian Peace Committee

Australian peace and environment groups Friends of the Earth Australia and Australian Peace Committee today welcomed two notices of motion placed by Senator Andrew Bartlett of the Democrats on the subject of nuclear weapons.

Nuclear weapons and nuclear disarmament are currently the subject of discussion by the United Nations General Assembly's First Committee on peace and disarmament.

The motion by Senator Bartlett to be voted on today points out that the US still has some 10,600 nuclear warheads of which 8,000 are still 'operational', while China, whose president will be addressing Parliament on 24October, the day after President Bush, has some 400.

It calls on both nations to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

A motion to be voted on tomorrow, refers to the proposal placed before the UN General Assembly by South Africa, New Zealand, Sweden, Ireland, Brazil, Mexico and Egypt known as the 'New Agenda resolution' urging real action to be taken by the nuclear weapons nations to eliminate their own nuclear arsenals and prevent nuclear proliferation.

According to FoE and APC:

"We congratulate Senator Bartlett for putting up these motions and we strongly urge the Senate to support them. These is a tendency to forget that nuclear weapons are still an issue that threatens the life of humanity and that this never changed. The renewed proliferation of nuclear weapons is more and more on the agenda with their acquisition by the DPRK, with continuing proposals by the US to test a new generation of weapons, and with increasing moves by Russia and China to upgrade and enlarge their arsenals. There is still enough megatonnage to destroy civilisation and most living things, yet there is almost no attention paid to that fact these days.

Senator Bartlett's motions in the senate are a timely reminder of the continuing vital importance of this issue."

For more information contact:

John Hallam
Ph: 9567 7533