Video message to the High-Level Segment, Conference on Disarmament

  • Speech, pre-recorded

President, Secretary-General, Excellencies, Distinguished Representatives.

It is an honour to address the Conference on Disarmament.

I extend my thanks to Indonesia its leadership as President, as well as to India for its contribution earlier this year.

As we can only solve our biggest problems together – we share a responsibility to engage constructively in the CD.

President -

We know that collective commitments to maintain and promote peace are falling short.

At a time of heightened geopolitical tension and strategic competition we face the risk of escalation.

We need look no further than Russia's illegal invasion of Ukraine, and its nuclear threats.

Or the DPRK's continued unlawful development of its ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programs as evidence of this risk.

At the same time, our region is home to unprecedented military build-up, while transparency and strategic reassurance are lacking.

We must commit anew to strengthen preventive mechanisms to reduce the risk of further conflict.

As the body charged with developing the international rules to support these ends, the CD plays a vital role.

Australia has renewed our enduring commitment to a world without nuclear weapons.

Transparency and accountability are at the centre of our approach, as is ensuring our multilateral security fora remain diverse and inclusive.

We need a Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty.

This would address a critical gap in our non-proliferation and disarmament architecture, by stopping the production of fissile material for use in nuclear weapons.

Last year, Australia's Foreign Minister Penny Wong joined Japan and the Philippines at the United Nations General Assembly to urge progress on an FMCT.

We urge all CD members to agree to commence negotiations on an FMCT – there is no reason to delay.

To build confidence now, we also call on states with nuclear weapons yet to declare and uphold a moratorium on the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons to do so.

Australia supports the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty Organisation and its valuable work – and welcomes the address by its Executive Secretary to the CD this week.

We call on all Annex II States yet to ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty to do so without delay.

Australia will continue to promote nuclear risk reduction and enhanced transparency – because we recognise their genuine contribution to security and towards disarmament.

We look to the nuclear-weapon states to lead on developing and implementing concrete, practical risk reduction measures.

Australia will work closely with you President and all CD members to support this important work.

Thank you.

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