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NZ pushes for action on nuclear test ban treaty


Hon Phil Goff
Minister for Disarmament and Arms Control


25 September 2008 Media statement

New Zealand pushes for action on nuclear test ban treaty

New Zealand alongside more than 30 other countries today urged those who have not signed the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty to ratify it as soon as possible, Disarmament and Arms Control Minister Phil Goff says.

“Ministers from the countries met in New York today to discuss ways to promote entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and reaffirm their strong commitment to the CTBT,” Phil Goff said.

“The meeting was also attended by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, former US Secretary of Defence William Perry and UN Messenger of Peace Michael Douglas, an indication of the importance placed internationally on the CTBT.

“New Zealand has a long history of speaking out against nuclear weapons testing. We advocated strongly against nuclear testing in the Pacific, including sending a New Zeland frigate to Mururoa and taking this issue up with the International Court of Justice in the early seventies. I am proud that New Zealand was one of the first countries to sign on to the CTBT in 1996,” Phil Goff said.

“A nuclear weapon free world is the goal for New Zealand and we remain strong supporters of the nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime. The CTBT is an integral part of this framework and it is inexcusable that this vital Treaty has not yet entered into force. It is 12 years to the day since it opened for signature,

“New Zealand urges all countries that have yet to do so, particularly those whose ratification is required for entry into force, to take this action as soon as possible. Such steps would make a significant contribution to international security”, said Phil Goff.

While the Treaty has been ratified by more than 140 countries, the ratifications of nine nuclear capable countries are required for the Treaty to enter into force. These countries include China, DPRK (North Korea), Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Pakistan and the United States.

“The whole international community stands to benefit from full endorsement of this regime. It has as its fundamental objective the prohibition of nuclear weapons testing. The CTBT has a vital place in today’s multilateral framework for nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.

“New Zealand remains strongly committed to achieving the entry into force of the Treaty. We will continue to work with our partners towards realising this objective as a matter of priority,” Phil Goff said.


ENDS

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