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Goff Calls For Action on Nuclear Arms

Hon Phil Goff
Minister of Disarmament and Arms Control

21 October 2006

Goff Calls For Action on Nuclear Arms

Disarmament and Arms Control Minister Phil Goff today made a call for the international community to make renewed efforts to achieve disarmament and an end to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

Mr Goff was speaking in Nagasaki, Japan at the unveiling of the sculpture Te Korowai Rangimarie at the Peace Park.

"The threat posed by proliferation of nuclear weapons has got worse with North Korea becoming the latest country to test a nuclear bomb. This threatens to destabilise the region. North Korea's actions add new impetus to the need for the world to do more to achieve an end to weapons of mass destruction", said Mr Goff.

"The irresponsible actions of North Korea and the risks posed by possession of nuclear weapons by such an unstable regime should force the world to challenge its dismal record in failing to make progress in disarmament and non-proliferation.

"New Zealand has joined with Japan and others in unequivocally condemning North Korea's pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability.

"The Security Council’s recent strong response to North Korea’s actions – through its unanimous adoption of Security Council Resolution 1718 – sent a clear message about the international community's concern.

"New Zealand has been a consistent and strong advocate for disarmament and non-proliferation.

"Nagasaki and Hiroshima, the two cities which have experienced nuclear devastation, have been at the forefront of efforts to achieve elimination of nuclear weapons. Today we stand alongside them in renewing our commitments to that objective.

"Countries committed to disarmament, such as New Zealand and Japan, need to work together to ensure that we avoid the risk of nuclear holocaust.

"Te Korowai Rangimarie, the Cloak of Peace is a gift from the people of New Zealand to the people of Nagasaki. The project was commissioned by the Peace Foundation and reflects our shared commitment to peace", Mr Goff said.

The project 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.

ENDS


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