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

Media Release

FA150 - 7 November 2004

Regional Conference Tackles Nuclear Terrorism Threat

Australia will host the Asia-Pacific Nuclear Safeguards and Security conference in Sydney on 8-9 November.

This important regional conference aims to combat the proliferation of nuclear weapons around the world. It will build commitment towards ensuring that rogue states and terrorist groups cannot access and misuse nuclear and radiological material.

Ministers from Asia-Pacific countries and the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Dr Mohamed ElBaradei, will attend.

Australia places a high priority on cooperation with our regional neighbours on nuclear security. This conference will open new opportunities for practical engagement on nuclear security issues, especially efforts to protect against nuclear terrorism.

While the risk of nuclear and radiological terrorism is less than attack by conventional means, the awful consequences of nuclear terrorism make it imperative that the global community take this emerging threat seriously.

I am opening the conference and will also take the opportunity to discuss nuclear issues, including Iran’s nuclear program, with Dr ElBaradei and other participants.

The conference will also contribute to regional preparations for the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference, to be held in New York in May 2005.

A strong and effective non-proliferation treaty is essential to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons, progress nuclear disarmament and to maintain the confidence necessary for cooperation on the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

Media Inquiries: Chris Kenny (Ministerial) 6277 7500 - Julie McDonald (DFAT Media Liaison) 6261 1555


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