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NZ supports UN Sudan arms ban

Hon Phil Goff
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Friday 14 January 2005
Media statement

NZ supports UN Sudan arms ban

New Zealand regulations implementing United Nations arms sanctions against militia groups in Darfur, Sudan, became law today, says Foreign Minister Phil Goff.

The UN Security Council condemned acts of violence and imposed a ban on the sale of arms to all non-state entities and individuals operating in Darfur last year.

This followed its concern at the on-going humanitarian crisis and human rights violations, including attacks on civilians in particular by Janjaweed militia.

“New Zealand lobbied the Security Council strongly in support of this and subsequent resolutions on Sudan,” Mr Goff said.

“We welcomed the Security Council’s decision to stop the supply of weapons to militia groups in Darfur as it means New Zealand can now individually make a stand.

"The decision reflects the need for the international community to take decisive action in responding to the humanitarian crisis in Darfur where tens of thousands have died since the outbreak of hostilities,” Mr Goff said.

At the same time as implementing the Sudan sanctions, the government has also implemented sanctions to support recent UN Security Council resolutions concerning:

- The Democratic Republic of Congo, which renew an embargo on the sale of arms and related materiel to armed groups and militias;
- The Kimberley Process, which implements an international certification scheme to stem the flow of 'conflict diamonds' from Sierra Leone and Liberia; and
- Liberia, which impose financial sanctions to prevent former Liberian President Charles Taylor, and his family and associates, from using misappropriated funds and property to interfere in the peace process.

All Phil Goff’s media releases and speeches are posted at www.beehive.govt.nz

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