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NZ & Brazil Take The Next Step Towards 'No Nukes'

New Zealand and Brazil will work together to develop the next steps towards the elimination of nuclear weapons, and to boost commitment to a nuclear weapon free Southern Hemisphere," Minister for Disarmament and arms control Matt Robson announced today from Brazil.

"We discussed one option, a Declaration, to promote respect for a nuclear weapon free Southern Hemisphere," says Matt Robson, in Brasilia to met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Celso Lafer, and government officials.

Brazil is one of the seven New Agenda countries, including New Zealand, which support and campaign for the total elimination of nuclear weapons. Since 1995, Brazil has promoted the idea of a ‘Southern Hemisphere and adjacent areas free of nuclear weapons’ in the United Nations.

Matt Robson announced last year that he would lobby internationally for a nuclear weapon free Southern Hemisphere. Last year Brazil and New Zealand presented the UN with a Resolution calling for the establishment of a nuclear weapon free Southern Hemisphere. It won overwhelming support.

"I see no reason why in the future the Southern Hemisphere cannot be truly, nuclear weapon free," says Matt Robson.

“The South Pacific, indeed all of the countries south of the equator, and in the adjacent areas are free of nuclear weapons. Together, we make up more than 60% of the world’s countries. And all countries respect that Antarctica is off-limits for military purposes.

"We want to reinforce that reality. A nuclear weapon free Southern Hemisphere sends a powerful message to the Northern Hemisphere that it is possible to live without nuclear weapons. Half the world already does," says Matt Robson.

Tomorrow Matt Robson travels to Mexico where he will meet with members of OPANAL, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America.

Ends

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