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Salient. Victoria University Students' Newspaper. Volume 39, Number 25. October 4, 1976

What would the Zone Involve

What would the Zone Involve

The proposed zone would need to contain the following provisions:

1. Test Ban.

A ban on the testing of any form of nuclear weapon within the zone. This of course applies especially to the French at the moment. A test ban requires verification. In the Pacific, adequate detection and identification of atmospheric tests could be provided by augmentation of the sensors already maintained by Australia and New Zealand to monitor French tests. Seismic equipment already present in Central Australia could probably adequately detect underground tests.

So called "peaceful" explosions should also be banned.

2. Weapons Ban.

A ban on the presence or transit of nuclear weapons in or through the zone. This would be relatively easy to enforce for land installations, but for ships, it is the standard practice with US and British ships to neither admit or deny the presence of nuclear weapons. And the presence of nuclear missile submarines within the zone would be very hard to prove. But one effective step would be to ban all facilities and activities that aid submarine operations, such as Omega navigation transmitters and physical oceanographic research.

3. Ban on Nuclear Sub-Systems

Banning the actual physical presence of nuclear weapons is of limited effectiveness unless one also bans bases and facilities which in any way help the operations of nuclear weapons or delivery systems. This would include a ban on spy satellite ground stations, low frequency communication bases for use in support of submarines, satellite tracing stations that provide data to anti-satellite missiles etc. In short, this means the closing down of those bases involved in global strategic warfare and which would involve increased risk of nuclear attack on the host country.

4. Inspection.

Enforcing the above bans needs some inspection rights. Unilateral inspection, similar to that provided for by the Antarctic Treaty would provide a powerful safeguard against the presence of nuclear weapons aboard ships etc. As a minimum provision too, all nations in the zone would need to apply the International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards to all nuclear materials and reactors in their control.

The South Pacific Forum could play a role by verifying that nuclear weapons and any prohibited activities associated with nuclear weapons are not brought into the zone. The Forum could be given powers to inspect military installations and perhaps the military aircraft and warships of other signatory stales visiting member countries.

5. Restriction on Nuclear Powers and Nuclear Alliances.

A Pacific Zone would require a provision like that of Additional Protocol II in the Treaty of Tlatelolco, requiring the nuclear powers to agree never to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against states or peoples within the zone. Australia and N.Z. will need to abandon the so-called "nuclear umbrella protection provided by alliances such as ANZUS. As the Peoples Treaty drawn up at Suva in 1975 pointed out, states within the zone can hardly expect other powers to renounce use of nuclear weapons unless they themselves renounce nuclear "protection".