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NZ welcomes success of nuclear treaty talks

NZ welcomes success of nuclear treaty talks

Foreign Minister Gerry Brownlee has welcomed the successful conclusion of negotiations for a new international treaty to ban nuclear weapons at the United Nations in New York.

New Zealand joined more than 120 other states in voting in favour of the final text of a Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons,” Mr Brownlee says.

“Some countries like New Zealand have already enacted a national ban on nuclear weapons. This treaty now provides the first legal prohibition on nuclear weapons at a global level.

“Since none of the states which currently possess nuclear weapons took part in the negotiations, we need to be realistic about the prospects of this treaty leading to a reduction in nuclear weapons in the short term.

“However, the treaty is an important step towards a world free of nuclear weapons, which has been a long-held goal for New Zealand,” Mr Brownlee says.

The treaty will be open for signature by states from 20 September 2017 and will enter into force after 50 states have ratified it.

Notes to editors:

• The UN General Assembly agreed last year to hold negotiations on a treaty to ban nuclear weapons.

• States which join the new treaty will not be able to develop, test, produce, possess, use, or threaten to use nuclear weapons. The treaty includes other commitments, such as not helping others acquire nuclear weapons.

• Some commitments under the treaty will be verified through existing inspections carried out by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

• States which possess nuclear weapons can join the treaty provided they make a time-bound commitment to disarm.

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