Australia’s vested interest while preaching disarmament

Australia and Iran Pickled Politics Sandra Hajda 31st October, 2009
“…………….The meeting was in fact brokered by the International Commission on Nuclear Non- Proliferation and Disarmament, a body founded by Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.
At first glance this appears to be little more than a minor think-tank (plenty of low-level diplomatic meetings have been organised, and a lot of well-meaning articles about disarmament commissioned), but dig a little deeper and you’ll find that it is responsible for preparing ‘the next five-yearly review conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty’.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is under a lot of economic pressure to increase uranium mining in Australia (for export to the rest of the world), and to ensure that appropriate safeguards are in place (in other words, to ensure that Australia’s uranium is used for peaceful purposes).

An  article by a Japanese think tank (Japan is a co-founder of the ICNND) argues that Australia is a bearer of ‘grave responsibility for the world’s nuclear fuel cycle’ because it has access to the world’s largest uranium deposits and because it enjoys protection by the so-called ‘nuclear umbrella’ – it is an ally of the US and depends upon US nuclear weapons.
In other words it is in the enviable position of:
1) standing to benefit economically from uranium exports
2) having the authority (because it is a non-nuclear weapons state) to preach about disarmament; and
3) knowing that it is safe under the US nuclear umbrella………………….

uranium is a hot topic. The ICNND’s achievements at the next Non-Proliferation conference will have huge ramifications for the future of Australia’s uranium.

There is a lot of money at stake here. If Australia can convince the world (and its domestic voters) that uranium can safely be exported (and mined) then a lot of people stand to profit. So maybe we are about to witness the unthinkable: a push for international security motivated by the desire to capitalise on natural resources.

Pickled Politics » Australia and Iran


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