Australian news, and some related international items

Australian Labor Party’s very limited support for the United Nations nuclear ban treaty

Bill Shorten wins cautious agreement on foreign aid, recognising Palestine and nuclear ban treaty, SMH, By Michael Koziol
18 December 2018 A federal Labor government will pursue the recognition of Palestine, a treaty banning nuclear weapons and an increase to foreign aid – but final decisions will be left for cabinet under an agreement struck between the party’s factions.Three controversial issues in the foreign relations portfolio were settled in backroom deals on Tuesday morning to ensure there were no contentious votes and Labor leader Bill Shorten ended the party’s national conference on a united note.The changes to Labor’s platform urge the next Labor government to recognise Palestine as a sovereign state as an “important priority”, but leaves the final decision to cabinet acting on expert advice.Labor has also given in-principle agreement to the United Nations nuclear ban treaty – but only after taking account of whether nuclear-armed states had signed up (so far none have) and whether they were abiding by the treaty’s terms…….

Senator Wong and defence spokesman Richard Marles led the negotiations, while the Left’s Anthony Albanese was heavily involved in the nuclear talks  ……..

The controversial nuclear treaty bans states from using, producing or stockpiling nuclear weapons, and prohibits them from assisting any other state to engage in such activities.

Mr Marles – who has criticised the treaty as “the non-nuclear world thumbing its nose at the nuclear world” – said it was “no secret” some in Labor were sceptical about the treaty and its impact on Australia’s alliance with the US.

A Labor government would need to be “certain” the treaty would not endanger that alliance, Mr Marles told the conference, and it was essential there was a realistic pathway for nuclear powers to sign up.

According to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, 69 states have signed the treaty, and 19 have ratified it into law. However, none of the nuclear weapons powers or nuclear-armed states have signed or ratified the treaty.

As recently as October, Senator Wong said there was “no realistic prospect” of any nuclear states signing the treaty, let alone ratifying it, and it would have “no effect” without their endorsement……

December 22, 2018 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, politics international

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