Nuclear Non-Proliferation – Update May 2010

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There has been further encouraging news on the nuclear non-proliferation front over the
past month.

Firstly, President Obama announced a change in US nuclear defence policy. In a statement of 6 April, Nuclear Posture Review1, the United States declared for the first time that America would not use its nuclear arsenal against non-nuclear states that abided
by the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.

Secondly, and two days after this announcement, Obama signed an agreement with Dimitry Medvedev, the Russian President. This was the new START agreement2. Both pledged to reduce their country’s stockpile of nuclear weapons by 30% over the next seven years.

Thirdly, Obama chaired a Nuclear Security Summit in Washington.3 Defence Minister
John Faulkner represented Australia. That Summit endorsed a program of actions to enhance the security of nuclear materials around the world, in particular to improve nuclear security to counter the challenge of nuclear terrorism.

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