Vienna, 5 July 2010 Press release

Spindelegger: “Vienna-based competence centre for a world free from nuclear weapons”

Foreign Minister meets with Co-Chairs of International Commission on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament

Vienna, 5 July 2010 – “States, international organisations and civil society must cooperate more closely in matters of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. I am delighted that the Action Plan on Nuclear Disarmament elaborated by Austria, which was adopted by all NPT states at the Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference in May, is also recognised by such an important and independent body of experts as the Evans-Kawaguchi Commission. Imperative now is to ensure the swift and comprehensive implementation of the Action Plan, which is only possible through the close co-operation of committed states, pertinent international organisations and representatives of civil society,” stated Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger following his meeting with the former Foreign Ministers of Japan and Australia, Yoriko Kawaguchi and Gareth Evans, in their function as co-chairmen of the International Commission on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament (ICNND).

“We have seen in the past how successful close co-operation in the field of disarmament can be: both the Mine Ban Treaty and the Convention on Cluster Munitions were genuine joint projects,” continued the Foreign Minister. “Austria was instrumental in these endeavours and now aims to make a firm contribution to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation: Austria supports the establishment of a competence centre for nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation in Vienna in order to strengthen civil society active in this area. This centre shall provide NGOs with the opportunity to network as well as establish closer links with the Vienna-based international organisations operating in this field, such as the Atomic Energy Agency and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organisation. This security policy think-tank would further strengthen Vienna’s role as a centre of global nuclear security,” affirmed Spindelegger.

Professor Gareth Evans and Yoriko Kawaguchi, a member of Japan’s House of Councillors, have headed the ICNND since its foundation in July 2008. The Commission is not only a forum for eminent figures from the world of politics and academia, but also leads an active dialogue with governments, parliaments and individual citizens. The ICNND Report entitled Eliminating Nuclear Threats provided valuable ideas for the preparation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference held in New York in May 2010, thus making a decisive contribution to the success of the Conference. The Commission met for a final meeting in Vienna on 3rd and 4th July, at which it discussed the results of the Review Conference as well as the future steps required to implement the ICNND Report.

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