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Disarmament talks and aid on minister's agenda

Disarmament talks and aid on minister's agenda

Foreign Aid and Disarmament Minister Marian Hobbs leaves for Europe on Sunday to participate in three major international conferences:

The OECD Development Assistance Committee in Paris on April 22

The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) member states' meeting in Geneva on April 28

The first Review Conference for the Chemical Weapons Convention in The Hague on April 29

"The OECD meeting provides a useful opportunity to let other member countries– predominantly European – know of the specific issues we face in delivering development assistance in our region," Marian Hobbs said. "It is also an excellent forum for frank and free debate on global development issues of moment."

In Geneva the minister will deliver a formal statement to the NPT meeting on behalf of the New Agenda Coalition (New Zealand, Egypt, Mexico, Brazil, Sweden, Ireland, South Africa), which is working together to advance the cause of nuclear disarmament.

She will also meet the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, and the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Sergio de Mello.

Marian Hobbs will be in Vienna on Anzac Day and will talk to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), of which New Zealand is a governor, and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO).

"We are active in promoting the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and the New Zealand National Radiation Laboratory (NRL) works closely with the CTBTO to put in place the international monitoring system that will eventually verify that countries honour their Treaty commitments," Marian Hobbs said.

The minister will return on May 2.

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