Appendix 3

Appendix 3


Friday 28 August 1998, The Windsor Hotel, Melbourne, Australia

During the last three days, the Melbourne Group has brought together around the table experts on Asia-Pacific affairs from a number of countries, not least of them India and Pakistan, to discuss ways in which we can strengthen regional security.  We have engaged in constructive discussion of a range of issues affecting security in the region as a whole, and we have done so in a meed of goodwill and even friendship.  A report on the dialogue will be issued shortly.  The Melbourne Group has reached consensus on a number of matters which we seek to bring to the attention of governments, journalists, business houses, students and scholars, and the general public in the various nations which make up the Asia-Pacific region.

Our conclusions have stressed the urgency to encourage those processes which will lead us towards minimising the risks of nuclear, conventional and other forms of conflict in the coming decades.  We call on all governments and the policy-making communities to commit themselves to the ultimate elimination of all nuclear weapons.  Specifically we urge that the following steps be taken to minimise the risk of nuclear accidents and confrontations:

In the course of its deliberations, the Melbourne Group became aware of the extent to which the Australian government had disengaged from India and Pakistan.  In the light of this, and in order to further the positive goals set out above, we urge the Australian government to take steps to re-establish official visits and dialogue with India and Pakistan.

As part of the process of confidence building, which we recommend, the Melbourne Group wishes to maintain an on-going dialogue amongst its original participants and also to broaden that dialogue.  We recognise that an important factor in building trust and confidence is the ability to share information and expertise, and to do this in a way which is quick and timely.  Hence, the Melbourne Group proposes to establish a South Asia Security Network.  The components of the network will be as follows:

The steps which will be taken to implement this network are:

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