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Wellington Success on Cluster Munitions Treaty

25 February 2008

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Wellington Success on Cluster Munitions Treaty

With 82 countries signing up to the Declaration of the Wellington Conference on Cluster Munitions last Friday, New Zealand can be proud of the major part it has played, says the National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ).

“I would like to say how pleased the National Council of Women is to be a part of the Cluster Munitions Coalition. We had the issue drawn to our notice last year by our member organisation, the Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom and, through their initiative the issue was brought to the attention of many NGOs and NCWNZ branches. The Council subsequently passed policy supporting the development of a global treaty banning cluster munitions”, said NCWNZ National President Christine Low.

The Council would like to commend the Hon. Phil Goff and the New Zealand Parliament for their positive stand on the banning of cluster munitions and we are pleased that many more governments present at the conference followed the New Zealand Government’s lead.

NCWNZ would also like to acknowledge Mary Wareham and Jamila Homayun from the New Zealand Cluster Munitions Coalition, Don MacKay, the New Zealand Chair at the Conference and Jillian Dempster and her team from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade for their hard work and dedication that ensured the smooth running of the conference with its huge gathering of delegates.

Last week’s statements like ‘no exemptions, no excuses no deals’ and the most important one, that of a complete worldwide ban on cluster munitions, were heard strongly and clearly by governments - even those who have been ambivalent about the process.

“Last week demonstrated that, when the international NGO/Civil Society community come together and speak with one voice, much can be achieved”, said Christine Low.

The Council is pleased that all the positive hard work that went into the Conference last week has enabled the desired outcome of the text to remain the same for the Dublin Conference.


ENDS

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