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Support Grows For Nuke-Free Pacific, Says Robson

Latin American countries heard today New Zealand's ideas on ways to speed up the process towards a nuclear weapon free Southern Hemisphere.

Yesterday Minister for Disarmament and Arms Control, Matt Robson was in Brazil to gather support.

Today he was in Mexico City to meet with Mexico's Foreign Minister Castaneda and senior disarmament officials, and to address the Organisation for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (OPANAL).

OPANAL is the world-wide recognised anti nuclear weapons organisation in the region.

Matt Robson paid tribute to Mexico, which led the movement for a nuclear-weapon-free zone in Latin America and the Caribbean. The Treaty of Ttatelolco, signed in 1968 was the world’s first such zone.

"This was a bold and innovative move. We have much to thank you for. You gave us in the South Pacific the idea and the inspiration to sign our own nuclear-weapon-free zone treaty in 1986: the Treaty of Rarotonga.”

There are now also nuclear weapon free zones in South East Asia and Africa. All of the independent countries in the Southern Hemisphere and adjacent areas are covered by nuclear-weapon-free zones.

“Nuclear-weapon-free zones build confidence and contribute to regional peace and security," says Matt Robson.

The Treaties’ Secretariats, such as OPANAL have an important contribution to make to this process. I’ve had an excellent discussion with the OPANAL members today. I know we will make real progress towards a nuclear weapon free Southern Hemisphere.”

“We will continue to state loudly and clearly that the majority of the world’s countries are opposed to nuclear weapons and we want them eliminated.”

Ends

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