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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 7057

UNKNOWN

Photo of Hawke, Robert

Hawke, Robert

Period of Service: 11/03/1983 to 20/12/1991

More information about Hawke, Robert on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 08/12/1986

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 7057

FOR MEDIA 8 DECEMBER 1986
It is with great pleasure that I sign today the instrument
of ratification by which Australia will become a party to
the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone ( SPNFZ) Treaty the
Treaty of Rarotonga.
The countries of the South Pacific Forum have built upon
existing international treaties to make a new treaty that
will help preserve the South Pacific as it is today free
from nuclear weapons stationed in the countries and
territories of the region; free from nuclear waste dumping;
and, with the tragic and we hope temporary, exception of
French Polynesia, free from nuclear testing. All the
countries of the region want to preserve these freedoms and
that is the central purpose of the Treaty.
Australia's ratification follows the passage of the South
Pacific Nuclear Free zone Bill 1986 by Parliament last week.
With the passage of this bill, Australia has become one of
the first independent sovereign countries in the world to
make a commitment by national legislation against the
nuclear weapons option. The Bill commits this and future
Governments to prohibit the manufacture, acquisition and
possession of nuclear explosive devices and the stationing
and testing of such devices within Australia's territory.
We take great pride in this stand.
Our ratification brings the number of ratifications to
eight, which is the number required to bring the Treaty into
force. once our instrument of ratification is lodged with
the South Pacific Bureau for Economic Co-operation in Suva,
the Treaty's provisions will come into effect.
The Government is particularly proud of the part Australia
has played along with its South Pacific partners in
promoting this initiative and bringing it to conclusion. We
regard the Treaty as a positive contribution to regional
security and stability, in addition to giving formal
expression to deeply felt regional concerns about nuclear
proliferation, testing and dumping in the South Pacific.
On 1 December the Protocols to the Treaty were opened for
signature by the five nuclear weapon states to signify their
binding acceptance not to use or threaten the use of nuclear
weapons against parties to the Treaty nor to'conduct nuclear
testing in the South Pacific. It is the Government's strong

hope that all the nuclear weapons states, which have major
responsibility for international peace and security, will
adhere to the Protocols.
The entry into force of the Treaty flowing from the
Australian ratification constitutes a clear and unequivocal
message to the world of the earnest desire of South Pacific
Forum countries for the preservation of the South Pacific as
the peaceful region which its name implies.
NOTE
The South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone Treaty will be ratified in
the Prime Minister's Office at 11.00 am on Monday, 8 December.
There will be a photo opportunity for the event at which the
Prime Minister and a representative from the Fijian High
Cwoimsmhiisnsgi otno cwiolvel r sithgen etvhee ntT resahtoyu. l d Pahsosteomgbrlaep heorust siadned tchaem erParmiemne
Minister's Office at 10.50 am.

Transcript 7057