Joint doorstop press conference with UN Secretary-General
United Nations, New York
Subjects: The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, Arms Control, Disarmament and Nuclear Non-proliferation
Transcript, E&OE, proof only
23 September 2010
KEVIN RUDD: Welcome ladies and gentlemen.
Firstly I would like to welcome the United Nations Secretary-General to this press conference which supports the ministerial statement on the comprehensive test ban treaty.
We have just been holding productive discussions on the comprehensive test ban treaty and are united in our desire to see that treaty enter into force.
The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty constrains the proliferation and qualitative development of nuclear weapons and reinforces the Non-Proliferation Treaty. We resolutely oppose nuclear testing and call upon all states to sign and ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and to continue a moratorium on nuclear tests.
We note the widespread condemnation of the Democratic Republic of Korea's nuclear tests and demand a complete and verifiable abandonment of all the Democratic Republic of Korea's nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs. Strong support of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty is shown by the 153 ratifications and 182 signatures on the treaty. Most recent ratifiers are the Central African Republic, Trinidad and Tobago. Only nine states must now ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty to enter it into force. We warmly welcome the announcements by Indonesia and by the United States of America that they too are pursuing ratification. We call also on all remaining states to follow their lead. I thank the Secretary-General for his continuing support.
The Government of Australia has been an active supporter of this work on the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty for many, many years and the Secretary-General will now make some remarks. He must then leave immediately to attend his next function and I will take a question or to on the treaty alone together with the Spokesman.
BAN KI-MOON: I thank the Foreign Minister, Kevin Rudd for his leadership as the Chairman of this CTBT.
Good afternoon ladies and gentleman.
Foreign Minister Rudd and I have just confirmed the Fifth Ministerial Meeting to Promote the Early Entry into Force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. Ministers and those that join the statement, we are proving the strong commitment to the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. The path towards nuclear disarmament is an end to nuclear testing and the end to the development of nuclear weapons. I urge all governments that have not yet done so, to sign and ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty without further delay. I repeat my call for the pleasure of the community to bring the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty to purpose by 2012 and I urge all governments to maintain existing moratoriums on nuclear weapons testing explosions and to refrain from any action that would defeat the objectives of either the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty or the NPT.
Testing has already left a terrible legacy.
The time has come to end such tests and sustain the common momentum towards a world without nuclear weapons.
I thank you very much and again, I appreciate the leadership of Foreign Minister Rudd and many other distinguished foreign ministers who participated in this meeting today. Thank you very much.
KEVIN RUDD: Ladies and gentlemen we will take a question or two on the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and then we will leave you to it.
Over to you if you have any questions.
JOURNALIST: Mr Rudd, as you know the United States Senate rejected the treaty the last time around. What would you tell its opponents in the Senate has changed? Why should they support it at this point when they did not support it before?
KEVIN RUDD: Well United States domestic politics is a matter always for United States domestic politicians. Far be it from the Foreign Minister of Australia to tell the United States Congress, either the House or the Senate, what to do.
Let me, however, make an observation. I believe that the national security interests of the United States of America are enhanced by the ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. The national security interests of all countries are enhanced by the ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.
What we must aim for is a world in which this treaty is honoured by all. We are fully realistic about the fact that we can't have violations of the provisions as would be of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty by the Democratic Republic of Korea.
We believe the national security interests of not only the United States, its allies and friends but of the world at large will be enhanced by this treaty coming into force.
JOURNALIST: Thank you. Are you participating in the High Level Meeting on Disarmament and if so what are you looking for from that meeting?
KEVIN RUDD: Firstly, we are still seeking to confirm my own participation as there are conflicts of diaries.
Secondly, in terms of the High Level Meeting on Disarmament, I say this, as Co-Chair with Japan of a newly formed like-minded group on arms control, disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation which met for the first time last night, we support all efforts by the United Nations to give impetus to this overriding mission to bring about a nuclear weapons free world.
I draw your attention to the meeting which did occur last night. This is a like-minded group comprised of the Foreign Ministers of Australia and Japan as the Chairs, but with the support of foreign ministers from Germany, Canada, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey and a range of other states, all of whom are united in one ambition, to see a nuclear weapons free world. We will meet again next in Berlin ourselves and we intend to give as much impetus as we can, as well as the efforts of the High Level Panel, in this important objective for us all.
Thank you ladies and gentlemen.
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