Thursday, June 20, 2024

Australia marks 50 years of nuclear weapons treaty

Today marks 50 years since Australia ratified the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).

Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Penny Wong said the NPT was central to the Australian Government’s ambition of a world without nuclear weapons.

“Australia made a binding commitment under the NPT to never acquire nuclear weapons,” said Senator Wong.

“In 1997, Australia was the first country to implement enhanced NPT safeguards under the Additional Protocol, which offers the highest international assurances of adherence to our non-proliferation obligations, and which Australia continues to strongly advocate.”

She said the NPT had been critical to preventing the spread of nuclear weapons and had been fundamental to global security over the past five decades.

“As we face a deteriorating international security environment, including Russia’s desperate and reckless nuclear threats, Iran’s refusal to comply with its non-proliferation obligations, North Korea’s provocative violations of multiple UN Security Council Resolutions, and the opaque nuclear arsenal build-up occurring in our region, the work of the NPT is critical.”

Australia was also a founding member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and remains a steadfast supporter of its vital role in upholding the NPT, said Senator Wong. The IAEA facilitates access to the peaceful benefits of nuclear science and technology for global prosperity and socioeconomic development.

“The Australian Government will continue Australia’s proud history of championing practical disarmament efforts. We will further strengthen global non-proliferation standards and share the benefits of nuclear science and technology with the world.”

“The Albanese Government deals with the world as it is, and is committed to taking the practical and meaningful steps necessary to shape it for the better – and we will continue to work for a world free of nuclear weapons,” Senator Wong said.

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