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Disarmament Diplomacy

Issue No. 19, October 1997

UK Ratification of Rarotonga Treaty:
Statement by Australian Foreign Minister

'Australia welcomes United Kingdom ratification of South Pacific Nuclear-Free-Zone Treaty,' Statement by Foreign Minister Alexander Downer, Foreign Ministry Media Release FA 120, 1 October 1997

Editor's note: see last issue for UK announcement.

Full text

"I warmly welcome the ratification by the United Kingdom of the Protocols to the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone (SPNFZ) Treaty - the Treaty of Rarotonga.

Ratification of the SPNFZ Protocols by the United Kingdom is a welcome contribution to the strengthening of the international network of nuclear-weapon-free zones, and thus advances the principles and objectives for nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament adopted by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review and Extension Conference in 1995.

Signature and ratification of the SPNFZ Protocols by all five nuclear-weapon States has long been a major Australian and South Pacific Forum objective. The Australian Government welcomed last year the signing of the three Protocols by France, the United Kingdom and the United States. France ratified the Protocols on 20 September 1996.

Four of the five nuclear weapon states have now ratified relevant Protocols to the Treaty. Australia looks forward to the early completion of ratification procedures by the United States.

The Protocols apply the prohibitions of the Treaty related to manufacture, stationing and testing of nuclear devices to non-self governing territories within the zone and provide assurances that nuclear weapon states will not use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against members of the Treaty and will not test nuclear explosive devices within the zone."

© 1998 The Acronym Institute.

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