International Atomic Energy Agency
(Unofficial electronic edition)
22 January 1996
Statement by the Acting Prime Minister, the Hon Kim Beazley MP
I strongly condemn the latest French nuclear test at Mururoa Atoll which sends the worst possible message for the new year to the people of the South Pacific.
The fifth test is a reckless action by the French Government which ignores the wishes of the people of the region and demonstrates an arrogant disregard for the recent resolution adopted at the United Nations calling for an immediate end to nuclear testing.
It also places unnecessary strain on negotiations for a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).
Conducting five tests in less than four months is completely contrary to the undertaking the French Government gave at the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review and Extension Conference in May of this year to exercise 'utmost restraint' in nuclear testing.
This situation reinforces the need to consider practical measures for eliminating nuclear weapons.
The Canberra Commission on the elimination of nuclear weapons will begin its deliberations in Canberra from 23 to 25 January 1996 to advance this goal.
This will be the first in a series of meetings by the Commission to promote fresh thinking on steps necessary for a nuclear weapon-free world.
I call on the French Government to make a fresh start to 1996 by immediately ending its nuclear weapons tests.
This would be an important contribution to the final round of negotiations for a CTBT and would help restore France's tarnished international credentials.
28 December 1995