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23 April 2004
Preparatory Committee for the 2005 Review
Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the
Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons
New York, 26 April-7 May 2004
Steps to promote the achievement of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East and the realization of the goals and objectives of the 1995 resolution on the Middle East
Report submitted by Australia
Australia fully supports the establishment of an effectively verifiable Middle East zone free of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery. Australia has joined the consensus every year at the UN General Assembly in support of the resolution calling for the establishment of a nuclear weapon-free zone in the Middle East freely arrived at among states of the region.
In the context of Australia’s support for universality of the NPT Australia calls on Israel, as for other states yet to join the Treaty, to accede to it as a non-nuclear weapon state.
The Additional Protocol on strengthened IAEA safeguards offers Middle East states an important confidence building opportunity. Australia welcomes conclusion of Additional Protocols by Iran and Libya and looks forward to their full implementation. At Iran’s invitation an Australian expert recently visited Tehran to provide training on Additional Protocol implementation. Australia will continue to urge conclusion by Middle East states of the Additional Protocol without delay or pre-condition.
Australia has joined with other IAEA Board members in urging Iran to resolve the continuing international concerns about its nuclear program. Iran must urgently cooperate fully with the IAEA to resolve outstanding questions, as must states, entities and persons which have supplied Iran’s nuclear program.
Australia welcomed Libya’s historic decision in December 2003 to eliminate verifiably all materials, equipment and programs leading to the production of nuclear weapons. Libya’s actions stand as a prominent example of the benefits available to States which embrace transparency, and commit to compliance with the highest nuclear non-proliferation standards.
While countries of the Middle East would need to take the initiative in developing a Middle East zone free of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery, membership of and adherence to existing treaties and instruments would be a step towards this aim. Australia contributes to the goal of such a zone through its efforts to achieve universal membership of the NPT, CTBT, BWC, CWC, and our active support for the Hague Code of Conduct (HCOC) against the proliferation of ballistic missiles.
Australia is active in efforts to achieve universal application of nuclear safeguards measures – in the Middle East and elsewhere.