Wed, 21 Mar 2012 08:22:24 GMT

Australia wants nuclear states to cut their stockpiles



Melbourne, Mar 21 (PTI) As the Nuclear Security Summit approaches in South Korea, Australia has backed a motion calling on nuclear-armed nations to cut their stockpiles.

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and leader of the Opposition Tony Abbott displayed rare unity in supporting in the federal parliament a motion calling for a nuclear weapon free world, the AAP news agency reported.

Canberra is also asking states outside the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT) to join the treaty.

The move comes just days before Gillard is due to join other world leaders in South Korea for the second Nuclear Security Summit.

Gillard said it was a challenge to find measures to get nuclear weapons states to cut their arsenals, adding, "We are realistic about eliminating nuclear weapons."
"It will be difficult, it will take time, and ultimately it will require a stable international security environment.
But it can be done," she told the parliament.

Gillard said Australia had made a positive contribution to this goal. "We have a strong and long-standing record of activism and achievement on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation."
Abbott, who seconded Gillard''s motion, said, "Nuclear weapons cannot be uninvented but they can and should be controlled and reduced." PTI NC

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