Peace Groups Urge Govt To Back El Baradei Call On Nuclear Proliferation

February 16, 2004

Peace Groups Urge Govt To Back El Baradei Call On Nuclear Proliferation

Friends Of The Earth Australia
Australian Peace Committee
Campaign For International Cooperation And Disarmament (CICD)

Friends of the Earth, Australian Peace Committee, and CICD today called on the Australian government to back the call by Mohamed El Baradei , former head of the IAEA, to start with the elimination of the nuclear arsenals of the established nuclear weapons powers when pushing for action to end nuclear proliferation at the upcoming NPT Prepcom in New York in April.

According to the groups, Mr El Baradei is absolutely correct when he says that:
"We must abandon the unworkable notion that it is morally reprehensible for some countries to pursue weapons of mass destruction yet morally acceptable for others to rely on them for security - and indeed to continue to refine their capacities and postulate plans for their use."

According to FOE, CICD, and APC:
"Recent events, not least the revelations that Pakistan for years if not decades has been at the centre of global proliferation activities along with the DPRK, show the absolute urgency of preventing the further spread of nuclear weapons. Yet calls by the Bush administration to stop that spread, if they are accompanied by the further development of its own nuclear arsenal and by dependence on the principle of nuclear deterrence for the foreseeable future, will fall on deaf ears. There is no way the Indians or Pakistanis or the DPRK will let go of theirs, as long as the clear obligations of the established nuclear weapons powers to achieve the total and unequivocal elimination of their nuclear arsenals are ignored in spite of having been reaffirmed as recently as May 2000."

"The Nuclear Nonproliferation treaty is in deep trouble. We urge the Australian government at the upcoming NPT Prepcom, to press for real progress to be made first of all toward the elimination of the established nuclear arsenals and the implementation of the 13 steps agreed on at the last NPT Review Conference in May 2000."

For more information contact:

John Hallam (FOE-A)
Friends of the Earth Australia
Ph: (02) 9567 7533

Pauline Mitchell
Ph: (03) 9663 3677