Thursday 26 Nov 2020 | 01:17 | SYDNEY
Thursday 26 Nov 2020 | 01:17 | SYDNEY

Nuclear arms control: Good news from Oslo


Rory Medcalf


29 February 2008 13:34

Message to the Australian Government: spending cuts and saving the world do not go together. I was reminded of this point at a nuclear disarmament conference in Norway this week. This event, supported by the Nuclear Threat Initiative, featured such important figures in the new movement for nuclear abolition as George Schultz and Sam Nunn; and even the more cynical strategic analysts in the room were moved by Schultz's first-hand account of how close Reagan and Gorbachev came to that goal 22 years ago (my colleague Sam wrote a book review on this issue recently).

But the show-stopper was the Norwegian Foreign Minister's impeccably-timed announcement  that Norway would put some real money into reducing the risk of nuclear proliferation — to the tune of US$5 million to create a low enriched uranium reserve controlled by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). This reserve will offer an alternative to the building of new uranium enrichment facilities which, whether intended for military purposes or not, risk aiding the production of nuclear weapons.

Over to you, Stephen Smith, Wayne Swan and Kevin Rudd.