Disarmament and non-proliferation

Australia is a party to and fully implements the major disarmament treaties, including those prohibiting weapons of mass destruction and inhumane conventional weapons.

Australia has made a sustained contribution to the international consideration of nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, including through the 1996 Report of the Canberra Commission on the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons. More recently, the independent International Commission on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (ICNND), established by Australia and Japan, has reinvigorated international efforts on the issue. The Commission's report is a substantial and enduring contribution to achieving the goal of a world without nuclear weapons. It made a significant contribution to the success of the 2010 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference. Australia has since established — with Japan — the ten-nation Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative (NPDI) to take forward the NPT Review Conference outcomes.

Australia continues work to stop the use internationally of landmines and cluster munitions — both of which cause humanitarian suffering to innocent civilians. We are active in our engagement with — and support for — the international conventions that regulate these weapons, including the Mine Ban Convention, the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons and the Convention on Cluster Munitions,

Landmines, cluster munitions and other explosive remnants of war are also serious obstacles to alleviating poverty and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. Australia has committed $100 million over 2010-14 towards a world free of these pernicious weapons. Since this commitment was made we have assisted mine action in 21 countries across the Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa. This commitment brings our support to mine action to over $275 million since signing the Mine Ban Convention in December 1997. Australia’s support continues to assist partner countries to implement the Mine Ban Convention, the Convention on Cluster Munitions and the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons. Our work with regional partners and civil society to reduce the supply of illicit weapons into and within fragile states is complemented by the broader objectives of our aid program — poverty reduction and sustainable development. This work seeks to reduce the demand for weapons in these communities by addressing the drivers of conflicts, building inclusive political settlements and enhancing state capacity to deliver services.

More information on Australia’s role on the issues of disarmament, arms control, and non-proliferation.

Last Updated: 7 January 2013