Help PMA grow | Petition forms | Site map | PMA main page
Australia should follow NZ example on nuclear weapons
Friday, 3 March 2000
In response to remarks by Prime Minister Howard yesterday that Australia should recognize there were 'differences' between Australia and NZ over foreign policy, the Australian Peace Committee (APC) and Friends of the Earth (FoE) have called on the Australian government to follow the New Zealand example over nuclear weapons policy, and vigorously pursue the fulfillment of the obligations set out in the nuclear nonproliferation treaty at the upcoming nuclear nonproliferation treaty review conference, April 24-May19th.
According to APC's Irene Gale and FoE's John Hallam, "The fact is that New Zealand is simply pursuing the policies that the majority of Australians would also prefer to pursue: Policies that align it with the majority of countries in the world that consider that the obligations imposed on the nuclear weapons states since 1970 by Article VI of the nuclear nonproliferation treaty ought to be honored. It is Australia not New Zealand that is the odd one out, and New Zealand that has shown leadership.
"The upcoming review conference of the nuclear nonproliferation treaty is going to be difficult. It will be difficult because the nuclear weapon states have for thirty years ignored the clear legal obligations imposed on them by the NPT. The Australian government is now talking about 'damage control' at the upcoming conference, but the only kind of 'damage control' that is ever going to work in the longer term is for the nuclear weapons states to fulfill their article VI obligations. Australia has for a number of years refused to align itself with New Zealand and with the overwhelming majority of the worlds nations, who think that the weapons states need to be pressed very strongly indeed to fulfill their obligations under article VI to eliminate their nuclear arsenals. This failure has been underlined by the secretary General Kofi Annan on his recent visit, when he spoke of the the 'discouraging list of nuclear disarmament measures in suspense, negotiations not initiated and opportunities not taken'."
"New Zealand has shown precisely the leadership and commonsense on the nuclear weapons issue that Australia should have shown. Australia should work closely with New Zealand to produce a truly productive outcome at the upcoming NPT Review Conference."
John Hallam and Irene Gale.
Return to main page on military spending and alliances.
Link to further alerts on opposition to nuclear weapons.