FA 15 - 13 March 2000

Arrangement for CTBT Monitoring Stations

I have today reaffirmed Australia's strong commitment to reinforcing the international regime which prevents the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

On behalf of the Government, I have signed an arrangement with the Preparatory Commission of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO) to facilitate the establishment and management of nuclear test monitoring stations in Australia.

The facility arrangement was signed on behalf of the CTBTO by its Executive Secretary, Dr Wolfgang Hoffmann, during Dr Hoffmann's visit to Canberra today.

The CTBT has already established a powerful international norm against nuclear testing and this norm will be established in international law when the Treaty enters into force, banning for all time all explosive nuclear tests.

The Treaty will therefore form a vital component of the international nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament regime. Australia has signed and ratified the CTBT and played a leading role in bringing the Treaty before the United Nations for adoption in 1996.

As a strong supporter of the CTBT, Australia has in recent months made vigorous efforts to encourage further ratifications of the CTBT, including representations either made or about to be made to 36 countries. I warmly welcome recent further ratifications of the Treaty, including by Turkey, Lithuania and Bangladesh. The CTBT now has 155 states signatories and 54 states parties.

An international monitoring network will be set up under the Treaty to detect any explosive nuclear tests. When completed, the network will have 337 facilities around the world, including 21 in Australia.

In my discussion with Dr Hoffmann, I welcomed the work done by the CTBTO toward establishing the International Monitoring System. Work on Australia's 21 facilities is proceeding well.

Australia is also a strong advocate for the development of a robust On Site Inspection capacity so that any suspected breach of the Treaty can be investigated effectively. I welcomed advice of renewed efforts by Dr Hoffmann's organisation to advance that important aspect of the CTBT.

Media contacts:  Minister - Innes Willox (02) 6277 7500
Department - Matt Francis (02) 6261 1555

Local Date: Tuesday, 07-Jan-2014 10:35:05 EST