The Hon. Alexander Downer, MP
The Hon. Alexander Downer, MP

Media Release

FA078 - 15 July 2006

Australia Joins Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism

I am pleased to announce Australia’s participation as a founding partner of a new Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism.

The President of the United States and the President of the Russian Federation announced the Initiative on 15 July at the G8 Summit in St Petersberg.

The Initiative aims to improve accounting, control and physical protection of nuclear and radioactive materials and facilities; suppress illicit trafficking, especially by terrorists, in such materials; respond to and mitigate any acts of nuclear terrorism; ensure cooperation in the development of technology; deny safe havens to nuclear terrorists; and ensure effective prosecution of nuclear terrorists.

These objectives complement Australian programs dealing with nuclear materials, as well as our counter-terrorism and counter-proliferation priorities in Australia and internationally.

Australia was invited to participate in recognition of our distinguished record of counter-terrorism and counter-proliferation expertise and activism.

A meeting of founding partners of the Initiative – the core group of which will include G8 countries - is proposed for October 2006.  This meeting will adopt a Statement of Principles and work plan.  Partnership will subsequently be open to all states on a voluntary basis.

The Government announced, as part of the 2006-07 Budget, creation of a new Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Counter-Terrorism Section within DFAT; and enhanced programs to assist South-East Asian countries through nuclear safeguards and physical protection training, including practices to combat nuclear terrorism.

Media Inquiries: Mr Downer's office 02 6277 7500 - Departmental Media Liaison 02 6261 1555

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