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Turning Up The Heat On Nuclear Weapons States

5 April 2002

New Zealand And New Agenda Partners Turn Up The Heat On Nuclear Weapons States

“Nuclear weapons states must keep their word and get rid of their nuclear arsenals, Disarmament and Arms Control Minister Matt Robson said today releasing a paper on nuclear disarmament by the New Agenda group of countries.

“The events of September 11, the war on terrorism, increasing risk and uncertainty in many parts of the world, simply reinforce the need for nuclear disarmament. The best way to keep nuclear weapons out of the hands of terrorists is to get rid of them altogether.

“In 2000, the nuclear weapons states agreed to take 13 practical steps for nuclear disarmament and gave an unequivocal undertaking for the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals. We intend holding the nuclear weapons states to their word.

“Progress will be reviewed at a conference to be held in 2005. The New Agenda nations – Brazil, Egypt, Ireland, Mexico, Sweden, South Africa and New Zealand – are calling for real progress in nuclear disarmament before the Review Conference, and have outlined the specific steps that need to be taken.

“Despite increased security risks around the world, the nuclear weapons states show little sign of dismantling their nuclear arsenals. We want to turn up the heat.

“New Zealand is committed to nuclear disarmament, not just in the Southern Hemisphere, but for the entire world. We are not for turning in our anti-nuclear stand. Anti-nuclear countries, which are in the majority, need to keep speaking up for a world free of nuclear weapons,” says Matt Robson.

New Zealand will be an active participant in the first preparatory meeting for the 2005 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference in New York next week.

The full text of the New Agenda Position Paper and the NZ Report is available at: www.mfat.govt.nz


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