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Country Spotlight

Australia is a party to all major nonproliferation treaties and export control regimes. After developing a chemical warfare capability during World War II and collaborating with the UK on nuclear weapons testing, Australia no longer maintains offensive WMD programs. In 2021, Australia announced a deal to purchase American nuclear-powered submarines.

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Region   East Asia and the Pacific

33% World’s uranium resources

1985 Australia Group founded

12 British nuclear weapons tests hosted


  • Has never possessed or developed nuclear weapons
  • Has largest known quantity of uranium resources in the world
  • Party to the Treaty of Rarotonga, which established a nuclear weapons-free zone in the South Pacific
  • Set to acquire conventionally-armed nuclear-powered submarines via the AUKUS deal with the UK and U.S.


  • Has never possessed a biological warfare capacity
  • Conducts research on biological materials and biosecurity
  • Ratified the Biological and Toxic Weapons Convention (BTWC) in 1977


  • Will develop and test hypersonic cruise missiles under agreement with the U.S.
  • Is a member of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) and was involved in drafting the Hague Code of Conduct Against Ballistic Missile Proliferation (HCOC)
  • Deploys AGM-158 JASSM cruise missiles on its F/A-18A/B aircraft


  • Destroyed its chemical weapons stockpiles after World War II
  • Chairs the Australia Group, which enhances cooperation on controlling the spread of materials related to chemical weapons development
  • Ratified the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) in 1994

Treaties and Regimes Memberships

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Australia Group (AG)

The Australia Group is an informal association of member states that aims to coordinate national export control laws to minimize the risk of proliferation of chemical and biological weapons.

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Treaty of Rarotonga

The South Pacific Nuclear-Free Zone (SPNFZ) Treaty of Rarotonga makes the South Pacific a NWFZ, prohibiting nuclear explosive devices in the region.

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The NPT is a treaty aimed at limiting the spread of nuclear weapons through the three pillars of non-proliferation, disarmament, and peaceful use of nuclear energy.

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Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT)

The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty bans all nuclear explosion tests on Earth. It needs eight key countries to ratify before entry into force.

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