Non-proliferation and Dsarmament Initiative Ministerial Meeting

  • Speech, check against delivery

Excellencies, distinguished delegates.

I add my condolences to our friends in Mexico at this distressing time – our thoughts are with you.

I thank Foreign Minister Gabriel and Foreign Minister Kono for hosting the meeting and acknowledge the hard work of NPDI members in preparing for this event.

Australia is a strong supporter of the NPDI's work and the importance of advancing the 2010 Nuclear Non-Proliferation TreatyAction Plan across all three pillars: disarmament, non‑proliferation and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

The NPDI plays an important role through practical initiatives including work on transparency; supporting a possible Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty; and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT).

It is important we achieve the entry into force of the CTBT, and we must urge the states who have not yet done so, to ratify that Treaty.

The NPDI has also issued multiple statements, including two today – our broader Joint Ministerial Statement, and one dedicated to strongly condemning North Korea's continued and illegal development of its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.

North Korea is the only state to be testing nuclear weapons in the twenty-first century and must be compelled to change its course through political, diplomatic and economic pressure.

Given that North Korea is in flagrant violation of numerous UN Security Council resolutions, the international community but particularly the members of the Security Council, and the permanent five (P5) who have a unique responsibility to uphold the authority of the Council, must stand united.

Our work has never been so important. Collectively, the NPDI is a prominent, effective and pragmatic voice in the international community.

We are collaborating to ensure a strong outcome at the 2020 NPT Review Conference, including through Australia's initiative on strengthening the review process. I hope this will attract the support of all NPDI members.

As to the JCPOA, Australia would be most concerned at any breakdown of the mechanism, in the absence of any viable alternative.

Nuclear weapons pose a serious threat to all nations and we continue to do all in our power to ensure these dangerous technologies do not proliferate.

Australia firmly believes that in order to advance the course of nuclear disarmament and enhance security, we must support the NPT as the cornerstone of the international community's long-term disarmament efforts – with its safeguards and verification arrangements.

Australia remains committed to a world free of nuclear weapons.

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