Open Letter to the Australian Prime Minister
Weekly Newsletters

Open Letter to the Australian Prime Minister



2 November 2023

This week, APLN’s Australian members published an open letter to Prime Minister Albanese, urging him to commit Australia to taking a leadership role in addressing the rising nuclear threats in the Asia-Pacific. John Tilemann further underscores the importance of political leadership to address nuclear threats, and we share views from experts around the world on Russia’s de-ratification of the CTBT.

We also welcome two new members, and highlight other activities from our network, including the case for convening a Summit of Peace, the approach to address space security threats, lessons for South Korea from the Israel crisis and South Asia, Australia-Indonesia relations, and China’s BRI Forum.

Fifteen Australian political, diplomatic, and military figures signed an open letter urging Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to assume a leadership role in addressing the rising nuclear threats in the region and build on commitments made at the Shangri-La Dialogue earlier this year.

The signatories are calling on the PM to uphold his commitments and appoint a high-level envoy to engage regional partners in nuclear confidence-building and preventive diplomacy measures.

This open letter is signed by Gareth Evans, Robert Hill, Larissa Waters, Natasha Stott Despoja, Melissa Parke, Marianne Hanson, Natalie Sambhi, John McCarthy, Gary Quinlan, Trevor Findlay, Ramesh Thakur, John TilemannJohn CarlsonSimon Chesterman, and Peter Hayes.

Read the open letter



Australia must lobby US for ‘no first use’ of nuclear weapons, says ex-minister Gareth Evans

The Guardian reported on the open letter from Australian members of APLN to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, and interviewed, Gareth Evans, former Foreign Minister of Australia, who was one of the letter’s signatories.

Taming Asia’s Nuclear Jungle:
Lessons from the Cold War? 

John Tilemann, one of the signatories of the letter to Prime Minister Albanese, examines the current nuclear challenges in the Asia-Pacific region, emphasising the urgent need for political leadership and intellectual resources to address nuclear threats. He emphasizes the importance of learning from past successes and failures to develop strategies for reducing and eliminating nuclear risks in the Asia-Pacific region.

Read the Korea Times Column

Unpacking Russia’s De-Ratification of the CTBT

Rakesh Sood, Dmitry Stefanovich, Francesca Giovanni, Andrew Futter, Emmanuelle Maître, and Naeem Salik share their opinions on Russia’s decision to de-ratify the CTBT and the implications for the global non-proliferation and arms control.

Read the Pulse

APLN has over 150 members from 22 countries in the Asia-Pacific.
Each week we feature their latest contributions
to global and regional security debates.

See all member activities







A Call for a Summit for Peace

Marty Natalegawa, APLN Chair and former Foreign Minister of Indonesia, writes for the Jakarta Post and argues that convening a global Summit for Peace is necessary to prioritize dialogue as a means to address and manage conflict situations. 

South Korea Should Prepare for the Worst-Case Scenario

Chung-in Moon, APLN Vice Chair, was interviewed by Weekly Kyunghyang. He highlights that the situation in Israel bears an uncanny resemblance to the situation in Korea and argues that South Korea should draw several valuable lessons from the Israel crisis. [This article is in Korean.]

Geopolitics in Southeast Asia; Australia-Indonesia relations

Natalie Sambhi, Founder and Executive Director of Verve Research, was featured on the ASPI podcast. Together with Gatra Priyandita, she discussed Indonesia’s vision for the world and its alignment with Australia’s, as well as the roles both countries can play in shaping international rules and norms. 

China’s BRI Turns Ten: Debt or Diplomatic Traps, Why India’s Resistance Matters

C. Uday Bhaskar, Director of the Society for Policy Studies (SPS), New Delhi, points out that China’s earnest rhetoric is not matched by similar sincerity when Beijing ‘walks the talk’ and this will be the chasm that President Xi will have to bridge before the next BRI forum. 

Subconventional Stability on the Korean Peninsula: Lessons From South Asia

Frank O’Donnell, APLN Senior Research Adviser, explores subconventional stability lessons for the Korean Peninsula from South Asia. He emphasizes the significance of dialogue and risk reduction measures for stabilizing regional rivalries, suggesting that South Korea and North Korea should consider adopting similar arrangements as those between India and Pakistan, albeit recognizing the current challenges in inter-Korean relations.

A Consequence-based Approach Is Needed for Space Security

Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan, Director of the Centre for Security, Strategy, and Technology, writes for the Diplomat about the urgent need for a consequence-based approach to address space security threats, whether through legal or political instruments. Such an approach can facilitate the parties’ agreement on how to respond to an attack based on the consequences of the interference.

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