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