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Disarmament talks must be 'unstalled' says Robson

Hon Matt Robson

Minister of Corrections, for Courts
Minister for Disarmament and Arms Control
Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade

News release

Disarmament talks must be 'unstalled', says Minister

11th January 2000 Immediate release

'As disarmament talks stall internationally, New Zealand's role in creating a world free of nuclear weapons is once again vital,' says new Minister of Disarmament and Arms Control, the Hon. Matt Robson.

'The situation is urgent and I give my word to all New Zealanders that I will bring pressure to bear where ever possible, to promote nuclear disarmament.

Briefing papers from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs released today under the Official Information Act reveal that despite important gains in arms control and disarmament post Cold-War, 'the environment has deteriorated over the past eighteen months-and progress is currently stalled, particularly in the field of nuclear disarmament.'

'Several factors have contributed to the stale-mate: nuclear tests by India and Pakistan, delays in negotiations on further US/Russian bilateral reductions, and a certain amount of foot-dragging at the Geneva based Conference on Disarmament. All of this and more has contributed to an uncertain international environment.

'New Zealand must make its voice heard. Prime Minister Helen Clark has already made it clear that the new government will -vigorously pursue the cause of nuclear disarmament.'

'I am proud to have the mandate to continue New Zealand's passionate advocacy to get rid of nuclear weapons. Our next step must be to build co-operation between nuclear weapon free zones, and to strengthen our own Nuclear Free zone in the South Pacific.

'The new government will continue to forge strong alliances between New Zealand and other non-nuclear states in order to create a world free on nuclear weapons, says Matt Robson.


ENDS

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