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Greens secure intl. opposition to nuclear shipment

20 April 2001

attention Environment Reporter

Greens secure international opposition to nuclear shipments

Green MP Ian Ewen-Street has secured international opposition to the shipment of nuclear cargoes through other countries exclusive economic zones at the international Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) meeting in Havana early this month.

Mr Ewen-Street moved an amendment to a resolution calling for a ban on weapons of mass destruction to also include 'a complete ban... on the transportation of the components of weapons of mass destruction through the air space and / or the exclusive economic zones of other countries'.

"I am absolutely thrilled that delegates from parliaments from 140 countries agreed unanimously to this amendment," said Mr Ewen-Street.

"At a time when the Prime Minister is refusing to support a Green Party Bill which seeks to keep increasing numbers of nuclear shipments out of our waters because it would violate international law, it is heartening to see representatives from parliaments all around the world agree with us in saying that the International Law of the Sea is being interpreted to work against countries' rights to protect their environments and people."

Mr Ewen-Street said that the IPU decision was in line with the finding by the International Court of Justice that nuclear weapons are illegal.

"It is time the Law of the Sea was clarified to ensure that the right of innocent passage cannot be interpreted to include nuclear ships," he said.

"Now what we really need to see is Prime Ministers and parliaments all around the world putting this resolution into action," said Mr Ewen-Street.

"Nuclear shipments are a real threat to the health of people and environments and should not be given automatic access to countries EEZ's. Countries like New Zealand who are going to be put at increasing risk from more and more nuclear shipments should have every right to say no."

Mr Ewen-Street said he was puzzled as to how the Prime Minister was going to campaign for a nuclear free world if she was not prepared to tackle the international transport of nuclear materials which supported the nuclear industry and put nations like New Zealand at unacceptable risk.


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