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 our pursuit of a comprehensive ban on nuclear tests, our efforts to cap the production of fissile material and our support for numerous other initiatives such as the International Partnership for Nuclear Disarmament Verification.

The 2010 Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) Review Conference reached consensus on a 64-point action plan which includes most of the steps required to advance the disarmament and non-proliferation objectives encapsulated in the NPT.  In July 2010, Australia and Japan jointly established the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative (NPDI) with the key objective of promoting the implementation of this action plan.  The NPDI is a cross-regional group of 12 countries: Australia, Canada, Chile, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Poland, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.  The NPDI is a prominent and pragmatic voice in the international community and has been active in promoting practical actions and maintaining pressure on the nuclear weapon states to meet their commitments.

Australia continues work to stop the use  of landmines and cluster munitions — both of which cause unacceptable  suffering to innocent civilians. We are party to the  conventions that ban  these weapons, including the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention and the Convention on Cluster Munitions as well as the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons which regulates clearance of explosive remnants following conflict.

Under the Mine Action Strategy for the Australian Aid Program 2010-2014 the Australian government contributed over $125 million towards mine action. 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 and we are an active participant in the operation of these conventions.

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.

Last Updated: 7 January 2013