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Australian Government - Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Advancing the interests of Australia and Australians internationally

Australian Government - Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Advancing the interests of Australia and Australians internationally

Australian Safeguards and Non-Proliferation Office

Annual Report 1999-2000

Output H Provision of Public Information

Provision of public information on the development, management and regulation of WMD non-proliferation treaties, and Australias role in these activities.

Milestone H1

Management of an effective program to inform and educate the public and government departments and agencies on nuclear safeguards and CWC issues, and promotion of an understanding of the CTBT and its verification arrangements.

Nuclear Safeguards Activities

ASNO's Annual Report contains a considerable amount of background information on nuclear matters in an effort to enhance public understanding of the issues involved.

Messrs Carlson and Leask have provided the media with background briefings.

Basic details of permits issued, revoked and varied under the Safeguards Act are published in the Commonwealth Government Gazette.

CWC Related Activities

ASNO continued to ensure that operators of facilities which might be affected by the Convention were informed of their obligations, including through the publishing and distribution of two new industry brochures, and the updating of the ASNO Internet site, which can be found at http://www.asno.dfat.gov.au.

Dr Kylie Brown participated in the second Australian Chemicals Summit, held in Melbourne during July 1999. The chemical industry focus of the meeting provided a useful occasion for ASNO to raise industry awareness of the CWC and concomitant domestic legislative requirements, and to identify possible new facilities requiring permits under the Act.

Dr Geoffrey Shaw was invited to present a lecture at a meeting of the ACT Rotary Club during June 2000. The presentation provided an overview of the chemical warfare, the CWC and the impact of the CWC in Australia.

General Activities

ASNO organised a series of technical seminars covering technologies, threats and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. These seminars were conceived to meet ASNO's own need for greater multi-skilling of its staff and as one way of better managing its corporate knowledge but have been used widely by Commonwealth agencies in Canberra and Sydney. These seminars attracted substantial participation of practitioners of WMD non-proliferation from several agencies.

Performance Assessment

ASNO has used a wide range of material to inform the public and WMD practitioners about current nuclear issues.

ASNOs technical seminar series has been an effective tool for enhancing knowledge of WMD issues among Government agencies.

An assessment of ASNOs dealings with industry shows that the dissemination of information material has fostered an acceptance and broader understanding of the CWC and its verification mechanism. In particular, industry has expressed appreciation for efforts to keep them informed with respect to changes under the CWC and/or domestic legislation.

Rotary expressed appreciation of ASNOs efforts with regard to enhancing national security, and has requested further presentations on ASNOs work.

Requests for briefing on CBW related issues have increased as a result of the ASNO seminar series.

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