Australian news, and some related international items

Legal challenge by Pacific Nations against sale of uranium to India?

Pacific nations could challenge Australian uranium sales to India, ABC News, Stephanie March, Oct 12, 2012  Until last year, the Labor government in Australia had refused to sell uranium to India because it isn’t a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and is a nuclear weapons producing state   A move by Australia to allow the export of uranium to India could face a legal challenge from Pacific nations…….International law expert Professor Donald Rothwell has told Radio Australia’s Asia Pacific  program that could lead to a challenge under a 1985 treaty which governs nuclear testing and the use of nuclear materials from the region.

“Australia therefore has an obligation to ensure that its sale of uranium mined from within Australia is dealt with consistently with the provisions of the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone Treaty,” he said.

“To that end, there’s very much an expectation that any sale would be only to countries that meet the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty obligation and that immediately raises an issue, because India, of course, is not a party to the NPT.”

The South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone Treaty, or the Treaty of Rarotonga was signed in 1985 by 12 nations in the Pacific and Australia.

Any objection under the Treaty of Rarotonga would have to be brought by one of the Pacific Nations that are signatories to the agreement.

Mr Rothwell says due to its history, the South Pacific does have a very strong record of being anti-nuclear

“The region fiercely contested France’s nuclear weapons testing program in the 1970s and as recently as the 1990s,” he said.

“So any concerns that might be raised by Australia’s conduct could well come from within the region and given the history of the region, it shouldn’t be completely ruled out……


October 16, 2012 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, legal, politics international

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