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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 2000-2001

Annex I.1 Media Release

FA39 27 March 2001


I am pleased to announce that the Argentine Foreign Minister, Mr Rodriguez Giavarini, and I have initialled the text of a Nuclear Cooperation and Safeguards Agreement.

The Agreement provides a broad framework for cooperation in nuclear science and technology between Australia and Argentina. It follows the conclusion last year of a commercial contract between an Argentine firm, INVAP SE, and the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation for the construction of a replacement research reactor at Lucas Heights.

Together the Agreement and the contract mark the beginning of cooperation between our countries in areas such as: research reactors and associated components, equipment and materials; nuclear medicine; the safe management of irradiated fuel and radioactive wastes; radiological protection, nuclear safety and regulation; the exploration and exploitation of nuclear ores; and technology for safeguards and physical protection.

The Agreement constitutes a significant milestone in our bilateral relations, building on wide ranging cooperation between Australia and Argentina in areas such as trade and investment (including the Cairns Group and the New World Wine Group), disarmament and arms control, and the environment (including the Antarctic and the Valdivia Group).

The Agreement is consistent with Australias strong stance on preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons while enabling peaceful uses of nuclear technology. It ensures that any transfer of nuclear material or equipment between Australia and Argentina is subject to International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards and complies with Australias longstanding policies for the control of nuclear materials.


Annex I.2 Media Release

FA52 30 April 2001


Australia will host a regional workshop and symposium on the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) from 30 April to 3 May 2001.

The Australian Government together with the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI), will host the workshop in Melbourne. It will bring together academic, chemical industry and government representatives from 14 South East Asian and the South Pacific countries to explore ways of promoting regional cooperation in the field of chemistry.

It is the first time such a workshop is to be held in the Southern Hemisphere and in addition to Australia will involve the following countries: New Zealand, the Philippines, Peoples Democratic Republic of Laos, Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, the Cook Islands, and the Marshall Islands.

Participants will have the opportunity to share their national and professional experiences and work together to develop more effective ways to implement the Chemical Weapons Convention. An area of specific focus will be the incorporation of CWC studies into the participating countries education curriculums.

The workshop will consider specific suggestions - proposed by participants - for economic and technological development through peaceful use of chemistry. The workshop will present the outcomes of these deliberations to the OPCW with a view to securing OPCW support.

A one-day symposium open to both international workshop participants and representatives from the Australian chemical industry and universities will follow the workshop. In addition to promoting regional cooperation at a non-governmental level, the symposium will aim to further enhance relations and strengthen networks between Australian organisations and their regional counterparts on CWC issues.

Australia is an original Member State of the Chemical Weapons Convention, an international disarmament and non-proliferation treaty that bans all chemical weapons. In addition to the security benefits the Convention delivers, it also seeks to provide a framework for promoting economic and technological development through international cooperation in the peaceful uses of chemistry.


Annex I.3 Media Release

                     D11 5 July 2001


The Australian Safeguards and Non-Proliferation Office (ASNO) and its Indonesian counterpart, the Nuclear Energy Control Board (BAPETEN) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for an "Arrangement Concerning Cooperation on Nuclear Safeguards and Related Matters".

The MOU was signed by ASNOs Director General, John Carlson and the Chairman of BAPETEN, Dr Mohammad Ridwan in Tokyo on 29 June 2001. It formalises a long standing and close relationship between Australian and Indonesian safeguards officials covering areas such as joint R&D projects on International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards, staff exchanges and training.

Safeguards ensure that nuclear activities are for exclusively peaceful purposes, promoting international confidence building and transparency. The MOU provides an umbrella for further cooperation in this area, including exchanges of scientific and technical staff and joint participation in safeguards research. The MOU does not cover provision of nuclear material or nuclear technology.

Indonesia is so far one of the few states in our region to have brought into effect an Additional Protocol with the IAEA for the application of strengthened safeguards. Its leadership on safeguards matters in the region is very welcome.

ASNO is Australias national authority for nuclear safeguards. ASNO is also responsible for implementation of the CWC (Chemical Weapons Convention) and the CTBT(Comprehensive Test-Ban Treaty). BAPETEN is an independent regulator, reporting directly to the President of Indonesia, responsible for nuclear safeguards, nuclear safety and radiation protection.

The commitment from both ASNO and BAPETEN to work together signals an important step in strengthening the nuclear safeguards and non-proliferation norms of the IAEA in our region.

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade