Robert McClelland, ALP Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs, writes that 'the Howard government is worse than ambivalent when it comes to nuclear non proliferation - it is positively obstructive.' International security has, he notes, 'been made more volatile by a combination of nuclear proliferation and the involvement of non-state actors' 'as the number of potential nuclear actors increases, deterrence becomes a balancing act with far too many tipping points.' Arguing that 'the proposal to establish a Nuclear Weapons Convention is timely and responsible', McClelland concludes by suggesting that practical steps towards the elimination are possible, despite well-recognized obstacles. 'What is important is commencing the process. Progressing nuclear disarmament in the context of broader discussions towards achieving a nuclear weapons convention can be used as both a tool to assist short-term disarmament goals and also as a concrete long-term political objective.'