This Report contains the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties’ review of three treaty actions.
Amendments to Appendices I and II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Johannesburg, 4 October 2016)
CITES is a multilateral convention which regulates the international trade in endangered species. Endangered species are listed in three appendices to the Convention according to the need for protection. In 2016, the 17th Conference of the Parties agreed to 51 listing proposals, of which only 11 species are relevant to Australia. These include: the helmeted honeyeater; the Norfolk Island boobook owl; thresher and silky sharks; the mobula ray; nautilus; the saltwater crocodile; two varieties of rosewoods; bubinga and the clarion angelfish.
The majority of the amendments automatically entered into force 90 days following the Conference of the Parties, on 2 January 2017. Therefore, the amendments entered into force prior to their presentation into the Parliament and before the Committee was able to conduct its review of the proposed amendments.
The Committee supports the amendments, but remains concerned about the automatic entry into force and the lack of proper parliamentary review.
Withdrawal of Australia’s reservation to Article 11(1)(b) and (c) of the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women
In 1983, Australia became a signatory to the Convention with two reservations. The first reservation relates to maternity leave. The second reservation relates to women in combat roles and is the subject of the proposed treaty action. In 2011, the then Government removed gender restrictions on women serving in combat roles within the Australian Defence Force. The reservation to the Convention is therefore inconsistent with current policy and is unnecessary.
The Committee supports the proposed treaty action to withdraw the reservation with respect to women serving in combat roles and recommends that binding treaty action be taken.
Australia’s accession to the Framework Agreement for International Collaboration on Research and Development of Generation IV Nuclear Energy Systems, as extended by the Agreement Extending the Framework Agreement for International Collaboration on Research and Development of Generation IV Nuclear Energy Systems (Washington, 28 February 2005)
The Framework Agreement establishes the basis for international cooperation that is necessary for the timely development of generation IV nuclear reactors. These reactors will use fuel more efficiently, reduce waste production, be economically competitive, and meet stringent safety standards.
The Committee supports Australia’s accession to the Framework Agreement and recommends that binding treaty action be taken.