Turnbull Government statement below. Note also that the motion has
been co-sponsored by both senators Singh and Ludlam.
I, and also on behalf of Senator Ludlam, move:
That the Senate—
(a) notes that:
(i) there are close to 15,000 nuclear weapons in the world today,
posing a grave threat to all humanity,
(ii) nuclear weapons remain the only weapons of mass destruction not
yet expressly prohibited under international law,
(iii) the United Nations (UN) will convene a conference from 27 to 31
March 2017 and 15 June to 7 July 2017 to negotiate a legally binding
instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total
(iv) the UN General Assembly has encouraged all UN member states to
participate in the conference, and (v) Australia, as a state party to
the Non-Proliferation Treaty, is legally required to pursue
negotiations in good faith for nuclear disarmament;
(b) urges the Australian Government to participate constructively in
Senator McGRATH (Queensland—Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister) (15:59):
I seek leave to make a short statement.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for one minute.
Australia shares with the international community the goal of a
peaceful and secure world free of nuclear weapons. Australia will not
participate in the forthcoming UN conference on the negotiated treaty
to ban nuclear weapons. This approach is consistent with Australia's
clear and longstanding position on the proposed nuclear weapons ban
treaty. Australia voted against the United Nations General Assembly
resolution No. 71, calling for negotiations on a nuclear weapons ban
treaty. Australia was among 83 countries that did not vote in favour
of that resolution and among 38 countries to vote against it. The
proposed ban treaty would not advance nuclear disarmament. It will be
ineffective in eliminating or even reducing nuclear weapons arsenals.
It would not enhance security. It would have no effective verification
measures to ensure compliance, and it risks undermining the nuclear
nonproliferation treaty by creating ambiguity and confusion through
parallel obligations and by deepening divisions between nuclear and
Question agreed to.