Australian Commonwealth Coat of Arms

Visit to New York to attend the NPT Review Conference

Media release

5 May 2010

I visited New York on Monday 3 and Tuesday 4 May to attend the opening sessions of the 2010 Review Conference on the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).

The visit provided an important opportunity to reconfirm Australia's commitment to the NPT as the cornerstone of the non-proliferation and disarmament regimes.

On Monday 3 May, I delivered Australia's national statement to the General Debate of the NPT Review Conference.

Australia believes the Review Conference must reaffirm countries' commitment to the Treaty's core principles and achieve outcomes that strengthen both non-proliferation and disarmament.

On Monday 3 May, I also addressed an International Commission on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (ICNND) event, during which the ICNND co-chairs, Professor Gareth Evans and Ms Yoriko Kawaguchi, presented ICNND's independent report to the NPT Review Conference.

I am pleased ICNND's report has provided a significant and practical contribution to the Review Conference.

As the current chair of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF), I also had the honour to deliver the Pacific Islands Forum statement to the General Debate on Tuesday 4 May.

Pacific Islands Forum members view nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament with a particular perspective having faced first-hand the devastating short-term and long-term effects of nuclear testing.

Australia is proud to be a Party to the Treaty of Rarotonga which established the South Pacific Nuclear Weapons Free Zone in 1985, the second such zone to be established in a populated region. I welcomed Secretary Clinton's announcement the US intends to ratify its participation in the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone, which represents a significant step forward in helping keep the region nuclear-free.

Given the history of nuclear testing, PIF members attach great importance to the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). I welcomed Indonesia's announcement of its intention to ratify the CTBT, bringing us one step closer to the CTBT coming into force.

On Tuesday 4 May, I also signed with United States Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs, Ms Ellen Tauscher, a new Agreement between Australia and the United States of America concerning the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy.

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