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Transcript 9757

TRANSCRIPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER, THE HON P.J. KEATING MP DOORSTOP AT CONCLUSION OF LEADERS RETREAT, MADANG RESORT, 14 SEPTEMBER 1995

Photo of Keating, Paul

Keating, Paul

Period of Service: 20/12/1991 to 11/03/1996

More information about Keating, Paul on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 14/09/1995

Release Type: Interview

Transcript ID: 9757

PRIME MINISTER
TRANSCRIPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER, THE HON P. J. KEATING MP
DOORSTOP AT CONCLUSION OF LEADERS RETREAT, MADANG
RESORT, 14 SEPTEMBER 1995
E& OE PROOF COPY
PM: I'll just give you a few remarks. We had a good but long meeting where
we have adopted, I think, a good communique which is about
advancing the theme of last year which was managing resources.
Now, we are talking about securing development beyond 2000. We
had a good discussion around those issues and the communique will
be published for you very shortly. We also adopted the code of
conduct the logging code of conduct which we have been working on
since last year and we agreed unanimously to implement it with our
national codes. So, in other words, as each country implements its
national code of logging practices and conduct, it will give effect to the
code of conduct principles which are there and which have been
published to date.
Could I just say there was a lengthy discussion about nuclear testing in
the Pacific and you will find a very strong communique where the
leaders say they express their extreme outrage at the resumption of
French nuclear testing. Forum leaders again demand that France
desist from any further tests in the region and call on other countries
also to seek to persuade France to cease testing It goes on to say that
should France continue its testing in the Pacific, the Forum will review
France's status as a post-Forum dialogue partner and it goes on in that
vein. So, there was a very strong, and again unanimous view about that. So.
by and large, I think, one could report solid progress.
J: Did any particular country object to the communique on France?
PM: No, no. There was a discussion coming from Vanuatu, I thirnk, and
some of the people in the Melanesian spearhead group that they want
some sort of monitoring program there for the future. Because when
this program ceases, they want to be able to evaluate the atoll
environment and any attendant risk. So, there was a discussion about
that, but by and large it was agreed unanimously.

J: Did any nations... break off the post-Forum relations with France?
PM: There was some discussion about that but not much because. I think,
that to most countries the Forum dialogue does provide an opportunity
to have a discussion with France, but in the event, as the communique
says, if it continues testing, the Forum will review its status as a post-
Forum dialogue partner.
J: So, does that mean that the French Minister due to attend the meeting
from Saturday next week, that he may be told that he is not welcome?
PM: No, no. the French Minister will definitely be Involved in the dialogue, at
this time.
J: until next year, by which time the testing will be over anyway.
PM: The testing will be over, but will France have its dialogue status?
J: Prime Minister, in relation to the logging code of practice, how do you
understand that will apply to the Solomon Islands, as the Solomon
Islands say it wont apply until they develop their own national code of
practires.
PM: For a start, it was unanimously endorsed and the Solomon Islands
Minister endorsed the code of conduct along with the rest of us. The
code of conduct though, is not a binding document which will apply to
each country. It is a set of principles and guidelines which will then be
subject to adoption as part of their national code of practice and code of
conduct. So, in other words and I might just give an example, Vanuatu
is just in the process now of adopting it, of ratifying and adopting it as
part of its code of conduct before its ministerial council. As you know
Australia at the moment is going through its own forestry practice
regime PNG has indicated that they are within a few months of their
being In a position to adopt their own xnde.
J. Solomon Islands doesn't introduce its own national code. It will have
not affect and practices will continue iin the Solomon Islands the same
as they are now?
PM: That is right, but again these codes are adopted here but the effect of
them can only be given under national rules or national legislation.
That has always been the case. In other words, what you are asking
me is if a country wants to wilfully go along and damage through clear
felling for instance its forest environment, does this stop it? No, but the
Solomon's did endorse the code.
J: What brought the code of conduct back into discussions today, we'd
heard it was to be taken off...

PMV: No. it was never off the agenda, it waq cming back from last year. It
was absolutely set on the agenda for this time beAuise it was. coming
from last year.
J: . Just going back to the nuclear testing issue again briefly, do you think
cxtrorne outrage is good enough, hasn't France already got INe
message that there is oxtreme outrage?
PM: Well, would you like us to stand on our head and borrow a few garlands
trom around here to make the show better for you. What else have wo
got to say?
J. Do you think France wiAll take any notice..
PM: I think the French are veiy huit about all this. Now, they say in a
melancholy and wounded way, this is about the rest of us trying to
remove France from the Pacific. Well, of course we are noL. What it is
about is a bad decision to test nuclear weapons. That is what it is
about.
J, United Nations Prime Minister, to condemn France over this?
PM: That is still part of our processes and, of course, we also noted and
endorsed New Zealand's taking of the case to the ICJ. So, we are
going to continue our campaign.
J: ( inaudible) [ French teriftories? J
PM: No, only that it was said at the meeting that these are matters between
France itself and the various national groupings and populations.
J: Was there any discussin about how the Forum how France would
react to this latest communique?
PM: It is about getting a reaction It is designed to get a reaction and, I
think, the language makes that clear.
J: ( inaudible)...
PM: Wall, it is about France's general attitude towards the Pacific area arid
its obvious contempt in this decision. I think they are the things that will
be assessed this time next year or between now and then,
J: Sn, it can be between now and then?
PM: Yes, sure.
J: Was the general attitude of the region discussed?
PM: No, not per se.

J-So, the next test going off..
PM: Well, it will mean for a start we are continuing to express our outrage at
what has happened. We repeat that. We again demand that France
desist from those tests. Were it to explode another devise then it would
be up to Forum leaders to decide whether that dialogue status with the
Forum continues.
J: A couple of weeks ago you referred to France as still being a colonial
power in the South Pacific. In recent days you have made the point
that the status of those temitones is a matter for people of those
territories and France, yet in the past Australia has taken an active
interest in the making of accords for example in New Caledonia. Do
you believe that the testing issue will act as a catalyst for change and
reconsideration of that territorial status by France, New Caledonia and
French Polynesia.
PMV: I don't now the answer to that, but when PNG was seen as a colonial
territory of Australia that became a matter of debate and led, of: course,
to the independence movement, the independence of Papua New
Guinea which we celebrate with its twentieth anniversary this weekend.
Certain things bring these things into the public debate and I have got
no doubt that this weapons' testing program has brought into the public
debate France's status in the Pacific. But as with Australia, the
independence of PNG was a matter for Australia and the people of
PNG. So similarly is independence in the Pacific a matter for France in
the French territories for France and the members of those
communities. It is not a matter for the Forum.
J: Well Australia was influenced heavily by other countries in its say in its
independence of PNG Prime Minister.
PM: I think to be fair to ourselves I think we lead our own way out of our
colonial arrangements in PNG, perhaps later than might of otherwise
been, but still within 25 or 30 years of the war. It is for France to make
its own mind up about what its status and standing is here and what its
national objectives here and how people here relate to it.
J: Sir Julius implied earlier this week that the code of conduct would be
rejected, what has changed the situation?
PM: I think essentially the difference is one of meaning rather than
substance one of words rather than substance that is, it is always a
matter for PNG, say, as with other countries to ratify their code of
conduct. What they are saying is they couldn't do that before this
meeting. They could do it later, but they were quite happy to endorse
the code of conduct and accept that they are endorsing it for ratification
which they will do, I think, in the second half of this year.
J: Prime Minister, there was some recent tension between Australia and
PNG over aid and other issues, you had bilateral talks with Sir Julius

1 Chan yesterday did you make any progress there in terms of the shift
from budget aid to program aid?
PM* It was never raised. We have now made a fairly heavy change over
timne in the shift between budget aid and program aid. We hope that is
going well, that is we are able to deliver decent services on the ground
for the dollars we provide. It may be a matter in PNG politics, but it was
not raised with me by the Prime Minister. So, as far as I am concerned
and I would have told him this if it had been raised that the shift is going
to continue under the agreement.
J: Was Ok Tedi discussed?
PM: No, not at all.
J: ( inaudible)
PM: You'll find something about that in the communique and I think that VAIl
say succinctly what we are essentially saying is we are going to
examine that over the course of the next year and report back.
ends

FORUM LEADERS' STATEMENT ON NUCLEAR TESTING
LEADERS EXPRESS THEIR EXTREME OUTRAGE AT THE RESUMPTION OF FRENCH
NUCLEAR TESTING IN THE PACIFIC. FORUM LEADERS AGAIN DEMAND THAT FRANCE
DESIST FROM ANY FURTHER TESTS IN THE REGION AND CALL ON OTHER COUNTRIES
ALSO TO SEEK TO PERSUADE FRANCE TO CEASE TESTING.
THE FORUM ALSO NOTE THAT THE PAINFUL MEMORIES RESULTING FROM NUCLEAR
TESTING CONDUCTED IN THE REGION A HALF-CENTURY AGO STILL HAUNT MANY
IA PEOPLE IN THE REGION.
SHOULD FRANCE CONTINUE ITS TESTING IN THE PACIFIC, THE FORUM WILL REVIEW
FRANCE'S STATUS AS A POST-FORUM DIALOGUE PARTNER.
r A THE OUTRAGE OF THE FORUM MEMBER COUNTRIES IS SO MUCH THE GREATER
BECAUSE OF THE INTRANSIGENCE OF FRANCE, TOGETHER WITH THE PEOPLE'S
REPUBLIC OF CHINA, IN PERSISTING WITH THEIR NUCLEAR TESTS IN THE FACE OF
NOT ONLY THE STRONG VIEWS OF THE PACIFIC REGION, BUT ALSO THE APPEAL OF
THE ASEAN REGIONAL FORUM, AND THE WORLD-WIDE SENTIMENT AGAINST
TESTING. THE DECISIONS BY THE GOVERNMENTS OF FRANCE AND THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF
CHINA TO CONTINUE TESTING ARE COMPLETELY CONTRARY TO THE UNDERTAKING
AT THE NUCLEAR NON-PROLIFERATION TREATY ( NPT) REVIEW AND EXTENSION
CONFERENCE ON 11 MAY 1995 TO EXERCISE " UTMOST RESTRAINT" IN NUCLEAR
TESTING PENDING THE COMPLETION OF NEGOTIATIONS ON A COMPREHENSIVE TEST
BAN TREATY ( CTBT) THAT WOULD BAN NUCLEAR TESTS FOR ALL TIME.
THE CONCLUSION OF A CTBT IS AN OBJECTIVE OF THE HIGHEST IMPORTANCE FOR
r THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY. LEADERS THEREFORE WELCOME THE RECENT
ANNOUNCEMENTS OF THE UNITED STATES AND FRANCE TO SUPPORT A TRULY
coMPREHENSIVE CTBT. THEY CALL ON ALL MEMBERS OF THE INTERNATIONAL
COMMUNrY, AND ESPECIALLY THE NUCLEAR WEAPON STATES, TO SPARE NO
E TTiHNSURTiE CONCLUSION OF A CTBT NO LATERTHAN 1996.
r

IN THE SPIRIT OF THIS RENEWED EMPHASIS ON GLOBAL DISARMAMENT, LEADERS
CALL ON FRANCE TO SIGN AND RATIFY THE PROTOCOLS OF THE SOUTH PACIFIC
NUCLEAR FREE ZONE ( SPNFZ) TREATY. THEY URGE THE UNITED STATES AND
THE UNITED KINGDOM TO DO LIKEWISE, NOTING THAT THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF
CHINA AND RUSSIA HAVE ALREADY SIGNED THE PROTOCOLS.
THE DECISION OF THE GOVERNMENT OF VANUATU TO SIGN THE SPNFZ TREATY AT
THE FORUM IS WARMLY WELCOMED.
THE FORUM WILL CONTINUE TO OPPOSE NUCLEAR TESTING AT EVERY OPPORTUNITY
INCLUDING AT THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY.
LEADERS COMMEND THE EFFORTS COMMENCED BY THE FORUM DELEGATION TO
PARIS IN JUNE. THEY THANK THE FORUM REGIONAL ACTION COMMITTEE FOR ITS
WORK IN SUPPORTING THE ACTrIVITIES OF FORUM GOVERNMENTS AND ENDORSE THE
REPORT OF ITS ACTIVITIES PRESENTED TO THE FORUM.
LEADERS WELCOME NEW ZEALAND'S ACTION TO RESUME ITS 1973 INTERNATIONAL
COURT OF JUSTICE CASE AGAINST FRENCH NUCLEAR TESTING AND ITS
ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS IN THE PACIFIC AND COMMEND THE ACTION OF FORUM
MEMBERS SEEKING TO INTERVENE IN THE PROCEEDINGS TO SUPPORT NEW
ZEALAND'S REQUEST TO THE COURT.
LEADERS REITERATE THE CALL BY THE MELANESIAN SPEARHEAD GROUP LEADERS
THROUGH THE LAKATORO DECLARATION AND BY THE SOUTH PACIFIC ENVIRONMErNT
MINISTERS MEETING IN AUGUST 1995 FOR FRANCE TO CLOSE ITS NUCLEAR TESTING
FACILITIES IN THE PACIFIC, EXCEPT AS REQUIRED FOR ENVIRONMENTAL
MONITORING; TO ACCEPT FULL AND EXCLUSIVE RESPONSIBILrrITY FOR ANY ADVERSE
IMPACTS FROM FRENCH TESTING ON THE PACIFIC ENVIRONMENT AND PEOPLE; AND
TO PROVIDE ACCESS TO THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY TO ALL THE SCIENTIFIC
DATA IT HOLDS AND TO THE TESTING SITES THEMSELVES TO ENABLE AN
INDEPENDENT AND COMPREHENSIVE ASSESSMENT OF THE RISKS INVOLVED.
FINALLY, FORUM LEADERS EXPRESS THEIR SINCERE APPRECIATION TO THE PEOPLE
FROM THE REGION AND AROUND THE WORLD WHO HAVE OFFERED THEIR SUPPORT
AND THEIR VOICE TO THE CAMPAIGN AGAINST NUCLEAR TESTING. THEY RENEW
THEIR UNDERTAKING TO TAKE ALL POSSIBLE STEPS TO STOP NUCLEAR TESTING AND
THE PROLIFERATION OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS.
MADANO, PAPUA NEw GuvIA
14 SEPTEMBR 1995

Transcript 9757