The Australian Greens today urged the Government to support a United Nations draft resolution calling for a ban on the production, stockpiling and use of nuclear weapons to be voted on tomorrow in New York.
Greens spokesperson for nuclear issues Senator Scott Ludlam said the Government should take the opportunity to make a clear statement of support for a nuclear weapons convention.
"It is almost difficult to believe that the Government abstained from voting on the equivalent resolution last year," said Senator Ludlam. "In 2009 124 countries supported the resolution, with only 31 against and Australia amongst the 21 member states that refused to take a stand on the issue."
Draft resolution L.50 is a new version of the resolution adopted annually calling on the implementation of the 1996 International Court of Justice Advisory Opinion through the negotiation of a nuclear weapons convention prohibiting the development, production, testing, deployment, stockpiling, transfer, threat or use of nuclear weapons and providing for their elimination.
Senator Ludlam said the 2010 version of the resolution also includes statements affirming that International Humanitarian Law applies at all times, calling on the nuclear weapons states to undertake a number of nuclear disarmament steps, stressing that all UN members states need to make efforts to achieve a world without nuclear weapons and acknowledging the UN Secretary General's five-point proposal for nuclear disarmament.
"Australia can show leadership on this issue. There have been recent positive signs in that regard such as the work of the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties and the report from Gareth Evans. Friday's vote in the UN is a great opportunity to continue that progress," said Senator Ludlam.