Senate Votes Unanimously For Nuke Disarmament

November 29, 2005

Australian Peace and Disarmament groups today welcomed a unanimous vote by the Australian Senate, on a nuclear disarmament motion put by Democrat leader Senator Lyn Alison, in which Australias commitment to nuclear disarmament was reaffirmed.

The Senate vote, supported by the Government, ALP, Greens, and Democrats, welcomes initiatives taken by Australian representatives in the United Nations, in a resolution co-sponsored with Japan, in which the elimination of nuclear weapons is strongly supported. That resolution achieved unprecedented support in the UN General Assembly, with only two countries - the US and India - voting against it.

According to Australian peace groups:
"We welcome both Australia's co-sponsorship of the L28 resolution, the massive support achieved by that resolution, and todays vote by the Australian Senate that welcomes it."

"We very much hope that this unanimous Senate vote will lock in a bi-partisan commitment by Australia to the total and unequivocal elimination of nuclear weapons"

"We welcome also the efforts made by Australia on another resolution, L26 on the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, which also was massively supported, and our chairing of the entry-into-force conference of that treaty."

"A number of other nuclear disarmament resolutions were passed by the General Assembly recently, which Australia did not support, and we would urge the government to consider supporting all of them, but in particular to support the New Agenda resolution, and the resolution put by Malaysia on the ICJ decision on the illegality of nuclear weapons."

However, we very much welcome both our support for L28 and yesterdays Senate vote welcoming that resolution."

Contact: John Hallam 02-9810-2598, 9319-4296



Notice given 10 November 2005
*315 Leader of the Australian Democrats (Senator Allison): To move-That the Senate-
(a) notes and welcomes:
(i) the L28 resolution, 'Renewed determination towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons', sponsored by Australia, Bangladesh, Chile, Italy, Japan, Nepal, Nicaragua, Spain, Switzerland and Ukraine and passed by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly First Committee with unprecedented support and only India and the United States of America (US) voting against it, and
(ii) the L26 resolution on the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) sponsored by Andorra, Australia, Czech Republic, Finland, Mexico, New Zealand and South Africa and was passed with only the US voting against it;
(b) notes that resolution L28:
(i) calls for the nuclear weapon states to further reduce the
operational status of nuclear weapons systems in ways that promote international stability and security,
(ii) encourages further steps leading to nuclear disarmament, to which all states party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) are committed under Article VI, including deeper reductions in all types of nuclear weapons, and emphasises the importance of applying irreversibility and verifiability, as well as increased transparency in a way that promotes international stability and undiminished security for all, in the process of working towards the elimination of nuclear weapons,*No. 58-28 November 2005 11

(iii) encourages the Russian Federation and the US to implement fully the Treaty on Strategic Offensive Reductions and to undertake nuclear arms reductions beyond those provided for by the treaty, while welcoming the progress made by nuclear weapon states, including the Russian Federation and the US on nuclear arms reductions,

(iv) urges all states that have not yet done so to sign and ratify the CTBT at the earliest opportunity with a view to its early entry into force, and stresses the importance of maintaining existing moratoriums on nuclear weapon test explosions, pending the entry into force of the CTBT,

(v) calls on states not party to the NPT to accede to it as non-nuclear weapon states without delay and without conditions and, pending their accession, to refrain from acts that would defeat the objective and purpose of the NPT, and to take practical steps in support of the

(vi) emphasises the importance of the immediate commencement of negotiations on a fissile material cut-off treaty (FMCT) and its early conclusion, and calls on all nuclear weapon states and states not party to the NPT to declare moratoriums on the production of fissile material for any nuclear weapons, pending the entry into force of the FMCT,

(vii) calls on all states to redouble their efforts to prevent and curb the proliferation of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and their means of delivery, and

(viii) stresses the importance of further efforts for non-proliferation, including the universalisation of International Atomic Energy Agency comprehensive safeguards and the Additional Protocol on strengthened safeguards, and the full implementation of UN Security Council resolution 1540; and

(c) reaffirms the importance of:

(i) the continued development of the CTBT verification regime, including the international monitoring system,

(ii) all states party to the NPT complying with their obligations under all the articles of the treaty, and stresses the importance of an effective treaty review process and the universality of the NPT,

(iii) the early entry into force of the CTBT and of all efforts made by Australia to further that aim,

(iv) the nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation goals and the balanced approach to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation contained in the final document of the 2000 NPT Review conference and the L28 resolution, and (v) international efforts to prevent the acquisition and the use by terrorists of nuclear or other WMD, and radioactive materials and sources, including strengthened international protection of WMD-usable materials and relevant equipment, facilities and technology.