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Remarks by Prime Minister Rudd at the Launch of Eliminating Nuclear Threats: A Practical Agenda for Global Policy Makers.

Transcript, E & O E

15 December 2009

Remarks by Prime Minister Rudd at the Launch of Eliminating Nuclear Threats: A Practical Agenda for Global Policy Makers.

Tokyo



PM: Thank you very much. First of all, if I could thank my good friend and colleague, the Prime Minister of Japan for receiving me here in Tokyo today. This is my third visit to Japan in the two years that I've been Prime Minster of Australia, and it's good to be here among friends.

Australia and Japan now confront major challenges globally, one of which is the great challenge of climate change, another of which is the great challenge of nuclear weapons in this world of the 21st century. On the great challenge of climate change, Australia and Japan are acting. The Prime Minister and I have just had significant discussions on the conference in Copenhagen. Australia and Japan are both committed to acting at home through an emissions trading scheme. We are both committed to acting globally through a strong agreement in Copenhagen.

On the question of nuclear weapons and the future, non-proliferation and disarmament, can I say how much I appreciate the excellent work done by former foreign ministers Kawaguchi and Evans in producing this report. This has required a lot of work, a lot of blood, sweat and tears, and I thank them both for their extreme efforts in doing so.

This report, I believe, represents an important framework for discussions and debate on non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament in what will be a critical year in 2010. President Obama has called a nuclear security summit in Washington in April of next year. We have the NPT review conference due in May next year. I would therefore thank both the former foreign ministers for providing a report which provides such an important framework for those discussions to continue and to bring about practical results.

The Australian Government will, of course, frame it's response to the recommendations contained within this report during the course of 2010 in the lead up to those events, but speaking for Australia, we welcome the fact that a report of such substance has been produced to provide such an important framework for practical discussions on how to advance this great cause of non-proliferation disarmament in what will be a critical year for the world.

I conclude where I began, to congratulate these two eminent statesmen of our respective countries for doing the work that they have done, and their fellow commissioners, in producing such a report of quality, representing the findings of an independent commission on a critical challenge for us all in the century which lies before us. I thank you.

[ Ends ]