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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

Australian Safeguards and Non-Proliferation Office 1999-2000

Minister

Administration of the legislation under which ASNO operates, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation (Safeguards) Act 1987, the Chemical Weapons (Prohibition) Act 1994and the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Act 1998, is the responsibility of the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon. Alexander Downer MP.

Director General, ASNO

The position of Director General, ASNO, incorporates the functions of Director of Safeguards, Director, Chemical Weapons Convention Office, and Director, Australian Comprehensive Test-Ban Office. ASNO was established on 31 August 1998the background to this is given in a media release of the same date, see page 106.

Outline of Safeguards Role

ASNOs predecessor, the Australian Safeguards Office was established in 1974. The position of Director of Safeguards was created in 1987 as a statutory office, appointed by the Governor-General, in order to ensure the independence and integrity of Australias domestic and bilateral safeguards functions. The Director of Safeguards reports directly to the responsible Minister, who since 1994 has been the Minister for Foreign Affairs. The legislation requires the Director of Safeguards to prepare an Annual Report for presentation to Parliament.

Mr John Carlson was appointed as Director of Safeguards in 1989 and as the Director General, ASNO, on 31 August 1998 when ASNO was established. Mr Carlson was re-appointed on 7 June 2000 for a further term of three years.

Outline of CWC Role

The Chemical Weapons (Prohibition) Act 1994 provides that the Minister may designate a particular office within a Department or agency for which the Minister is responsible, or a statutory office under legislation for which the Minister is responsible, as the office whose occupant is the Director, CWCO. On 11 March 1995 the Minister for Foreign Affairs designated the office of Director of Safeguards for this purpose.

The Director, CWCO, is required to prepare an Annual Report for presentation to Parliament, and to date this has been incorporated with the Annual Report of the Director of Safeguards.

Outline of CTBT Role

The Director, ACTBO, is likewise to be designated by the Minister under the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty Act 1998. This Act will not commence until the CTBT enters into forceat present the CTBT is in provisional operation. Therefore the Director, ACTBO cannot as yet be formally designated. However, ASNO is already carrying out many of the tasks required of Australias CTBT national authority and a report on these activities is included in this Report.

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