31 March 2013
Dear Hiroshima Youth Committee,
Thank you for your letter of 6 August 2012 regarding a global treaty to outlaw and eliminate nuclear weapons. Australia is strongly supportive of a world free of nuclear weapons. Nuclear disarmament is one of our priorities for our term as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council.
I introduced a motion in Parliament on 21 March 2012 which affirms the Government’s support for the goal of a world free of nuclear weapons. The motion also calls for further cuts in all categories of nuclear weapons and a continuing reduction of their roles in national security policies. This is a motion supported by all the major Australian political parties and is reflective of our long and activist history in progressing global nuclear disarmament.
The Australian Government has never possessed any nuclear weapons and has worked hard to achieve progress on nuclear disarmament. In 1972 at the International Court of Justice, Australia and New Zealand took action against nuclear testing in the Pacific. In 1995 we established the Canberra Commission on the elimination of nuclear weapons and in 2008 established, and supported with Japan, the independent International Commission on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament. In 2010 we again partnered with Japan to establish the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative. More recently, Australia participated in the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons Conference in Oslo from 4 to 5 March 2013.
Australia supports the exploration of legal frameworks for the eventual abolition of nuclear weapons, including the possibility of a nuclear weapons convention. To this end, our nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament efforts include pursuing entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty and a start to negotiations for a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank and express my support to the Hiroshima Youth Committee of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons for your noble ambition to realise a world free of nuclear weapons.
Yours sincerely,Julia Gillard
Prime Minister of Australia