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Phil Goff In Nagasaki - The Cloak of Peace

Hon Phil Goff
Minister of Disarmament and Arms Control

21 Oct 2006

Speech Notes

“The Cloak of Peace – Te Korowai Rangimarie”
Comments at the Unveiling of “The Cloak of Peace – Te Korowai Rangimarie” Nagasaki Peace Park, Japan.
Mayor Itoh, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.

Mina sa ma, konnichiwa
(Good afternoon everyone).

E nga mana, e nga reo, e nga iwi, e nga haue wha.
Tena koutou katoa. (To the people of the fours winds, greetings).

It is a privilege for me to be here for the first time in the city of Nagasaki, to remember what occurred here 61 years ago, and to join with you to recommit ourselves to working to ensure that the scourge of nuclear destruction never again occurs in our world.

Thank you for being here today for the unveiling of the sculpture, “The Cloak of Peace – Te Korowai Rangimarie”, a gift from New Zealand to stand as a symbol of our shared belief in peace.

It is an honour to be here representing my Prime Minister, Helen Clark, and the New Zealand Government at this ceremony.

The critical importance of our continued work for disarmament and non-proliferation has been underlined by the recent testing of a nuclear weapon by North Korea.

New Zealand has joined with Japan and others to unequivocally condemn this provocative act, and North Korea's pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability.

North Korea's nuclear test is contrary to the moratorium that has been in place for the past eight years, pending the entry into force of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

It represents a significant step back for nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.

But it also draws attention to the inadequacy of world progress in recent years towards disarmament and non-proliferation.

We share with Japan a concern at the failure to move forward at the Conference on Disarmament, the failure to implement measures agreed at the Review Conference on the Non Proliferation Treaty, and to bring the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty into effect.

The proliferation of nuclear weapon capacity to further countries must shake the world out of its complacency over the need for new initiatives on disarmament and non-proliferation.

Japan and New Zealand have been consistent advocates for disarmament. We must continue to work together to advance the cause of a world free of weapons of mass destruction.

This park serves as a constant, poignant reminder of the horror and devastation caused by the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki on 9 August 1945.

More than anywhere else on earth, in Nagasaki, and Hiroshima, people know and remember the horror of nuclear warfare. The plight of the Hibakusha who continue to suffer from the effects of nuclear radiation today are an ongoing reminder of the suffering and destruction consequent upon the use of weapons of mass destruction.

New Zealand is honored that the “Te Korowai Rangimarie – The Cloak of Peace” will have a home in the Nagasaki Peace Park.

I would like to acknowledge, the presence today of the artist that created Te Korowai Rangimarie, Mr Kingsley Baird.

Kingsley and his works are well known in New Zealand and it is fitting that he was chosen to design this sculpture.

Memory, remembrance, loss and reconciliation are central themes to his art. One of his best-known works is the Tomb of the Unknown New Zealand Warrior, which was unveiled at New Zealand’s National War Memorial in Wellington in 2004.

Te Korowai Rangimarie is a gift from the people of New Zealand to the people of Nagasaki. It is given in friendship, and in peace.

The project was commissioned by the Peace Foundation. It was funded by contributions from the New Zealand government; six local authorities, those of Wellington, Christchurch, Auckland, Napier, Whakatane and Waitakere; the New Zealand Lotteries Board; and the Peace and Disarmament Education Trust.

I would like to acknowledge the presence of representatives of some of these local authorities and organizations here to witness this special event.

I hope that this gift will serve as a reminder of our need to work together to prevent atomic warfare ever happening again.

Let it also be a symbol of enduring friendship between our two countries.

Doomo Arigato Gozaimasu
Thank you very much.

ENDS

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