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International Atomic Energy Agency
Information Circular
(Unofficial electronic edition)
INFCIRC/497
22 January 1996

GENERAL Distr.
Original: ENGLISH


Communication of 4 January 1996 received from the Permanent Mission of Australia to the International Atomic Energy Agency

  1. On 5 January 1996, the Director General received a communication dated 4 January 1996 from the Permanent Mission of Australia transmitting a Statement of 28 December 1995 by the Acting Prime Minister of Australia on "The Fifth French Nuclear Test".

  2. As requested by the Permanent Mission of Australia, the text of the Statement is being circulated for the information of Member States of the Agency.


The Fifth French Nuclear Test

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.

Canberra
28 December 1995