MAPW CONDEMNS GOVERNMENTS DECISION TO EXPORT URANIUM TO INDIA AND UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

Melbourne : Thursday 26 November 2015 - The Medical Association for Prevention of War (MAPW) today condemned the Australia Government for risking the proliferation of nuclear weapons by confirming the sale of Australian uranium to nuclear-armed India, ignoring its own committees advice. Australian Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop also confirmed the sale of uranium to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT) is responsible for advising the government on all treaties including uranium sales to Indian and the UAE. JSCOT’s recent report advised that while the federal government can ratify the deal, it must not advance uranium sales or supply to India before key checks and balances are put into practice and proven to work. The decision totally disregards this advice. India does not have enough domestic uranium for both its weapons and energy programs. Australian uranium used in power generation frees up Indian uranium to make weapons, as senior Indian officials have publicly stated. Therefore any “safeguards” aiming to ensure civilian use, even if they could be enforced, have very little meaning. MAPW President Dr Margaret Beavis said, “Australia cannot guarantee the “peaceful use” of uranium sold to India. India developed its existing nuclear weapons by violating its pledge to use Canadian nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. India is currently involved in a nuclear arms race with Pakistan. A nuclear war between these countries would be a human and an environmental disaster. In the case of the UAE, selling uranium is ill advised given the instability of the region. We clearly do not need more fissile material or nuclear weapons in the Middle East.” For further information please contact Dr Margaret Beavis 0401 99 56 99