The Hon. Alexander Downer, MP
FORMER MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS

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Media Release

FA131 - 15 September 2002

Boost for Nuclear Disarmament

I am pleased to announce that 16 countries joined me on 14 September in reaffirming our strong commitment to the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).

A declaration launched by Australia, Japan and the Netherlands and signed today by Foreign Ministers or their representatives confirms the Test Ban Treaty's central role in global efforts to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and promote nuclear disarmament.

The declaration calls upon all States which have not yet signed and ratified the Treaty to do so without delay to enable entry into force as soon as possible.  The Treaty has been ratified by 93 countries to date, establishing it as a powerful moral force against further nuclear testing.  But to enter into force and realise its full potential, the Treaty must be ratified by 44 specified countries.

Australia does not underestimate the obstacles ahead but will work steadfastly with other supporters of the Test Ban Treaty until our goal of entry into force is achieved. 

The terrible events of 11 September last year and their aftermath have underlined the importance of renewed international commitment to the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. 

Australia played a key role in the negotiation and acceptance of the Test Ban Treaty.  In 1996, I led international action to bring the Treaty to the United Nations General Assembly in New York where it was approved by an overwhelming majority. 

The Declaration signed in New York today also underlines the importance of building up the Test Ban Treaty's verification machinery.

Australia is hosting 20 CTBT monitoring stations and one laboratory, the third-largest number of any country after the United States and Russia.  Australia has the largest number of stations certified as meeting CTBT standards of  any Treaty.

The Test Ban Treaty verification regime, with the International Monitoring System at its core, offers very high assurance of verifying Treaty compliance.  When completed, the International Monitoring System will be global network of 321 monitoring stations and 16 laboratories, unprecedented in its global reach. 

Media inquiries: Chris Kenny (Ministerial) +61 02 6277 7500 / Julie McDonald (Departmental) +61 02 6261 1555


 

Local Date: Tuesday, 07-Jan-2014 10:28:59 EST

 

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