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Convention on hazardous and radioactive waste

29 October 2000 Media Statement
NZ to ratify convention on hazardous and radioactive waste


Prime Minister Helen Clark announced today that New Zealand will ratify the Waigani Convention on hazardous and radioactive waste in late November.

"Ratification of the Waigani Convention will enable New Zealand to help our Pacific Island neighbours to deal effectively with hazardous and radioactive wastes issues," Helen Clark said.

At the 1994 South Pacific Forum, Papua New Guinea proposed a treaty to address threats to the region from the importation of hazardous and radioactive wastes. A Convention was subsequently signed on 16 September 1995 at Waigani, by all Forum members, including New Zealand, except for the Marshall Islands and Tuvalu.

The Waigani Convention bans the importation into Forum countries of hazardous and radioactive wastes, while New Zealand and Australia have undertaken to ban the export of those wastes to these countries.

The Convention establishes a system for dealing with the trans-boundary movement of hazardous wastes within the South Pacific, including notification procedures, cooperation in treatment and disposal, and sharing of information on illegal trade.

To date five countries have ratified the Convention.

ENDS

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