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New Zealand’s Nuclear-Free Legislation Nominated For Award

World Future Council

Future Policy Award 2013

Press release – for immediate release

International Award Celebrates Solutions For Sustainable Disarmament

Aotearoa-New Zealand’s groundbreaking nuclear-free legislation is nominated for the 2013 Future Policy Award

Hamburg/Geneva/New York – 6 June 2013: In 1987, against the backdrop of rising Cold War tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union, Aotearoa-New Zealand passed its groundbreaking Nuclear-free Act, which banned nuclear weapons and meant US nuclear-armed and nuclear-powered ships were no longer allowed in New Zealand ports. Today, more than 25 years later, that policy has been nominated for the World Future Council’s Future Policy Award 2013.

In partnership with the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) and the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), this year’s award seeks to highlight disarmament policies that contribute to the achievement of peace, sustainable development and human security. In response to a worldwide call for nominations, the World Future Council has received 25 nominations of best policy practice from all continents.

The horrific health and environmental consequences of nuclear testing in the South Pacific, growing concern about the risks of nuclear war, and government plans to develop nuclear energy led to a surge in anti-nuclear sentiment in Aotearoa-New Zealand in the 1970s. Among the campaigns employed by the anti-nuclear movement was the declaration of Nuclear Weapon-Free Zones (NWFZ) in classrooms, work places, towns and cities. By the 1984 general election, over 66 percent of New Zealanders lived in such NWFZs.

In 1987 the nuclear-free policy was firmly cemented in the New Zealand Nuclear Free Zone, Arms Control, And Disarmament Act – “to establish in New Zealand a Nuclear Free Zone, to promote and encourage an active and effective contribution by New Zealand to the essential process of disarmament and international arms control.“ The nomination of this policy further reinforces the words of the former New Zealand Prime Minister David Lange, who said: “Our nuclear free status is a statement of our belief that we and our fellow human beings can build the institutions which will one day allow us all to renounce the weapons of mass destruction. We are a small country and what we can do is limited. But in this as in every other great issue, we have to start somewhere“.

In 2013, disarmament issues have featured regularly and prominently in the headlines, drawing public attention to concerns such as the on-going threat posed by nuclear and chemical weapons as well as the historic passing of a UN Resolution on a global Arms Trade Treaty. Weapons of mass destruction continue to pose a threat to all life on Earth while the trafficking of small arms and light weapons fuels tensions, undermines peace, and incites armed violence.

With global military spending currently exceeding $1.7 trillion annually, a billion people continue to suffer from hunger. More still have no access to safe water, food, adequate health care or education. By promoting the exchange of best practices, the Future Policy Award showcases a range of innovative policy approaches to advance disarmament and celebrate policies that create better living conditions for current and future generations.

The aim of the award is to raise global awareness of these exemplary policies and speed up policy action towards just, sustainable and peaceful societies. It is the first award that celebrates policies rather than people on an international level.

Following a call for nominations sent to more than 120 international organizations, NGOs and noted experts in the field, a list of 25 eligible policies has been compiled. The policies reflect a geo-political spread of approaches to disarmament and cover initiatives designed to tackle the problem of small arms and light weapons as well as weapons of mass destruction.

An extensive research process is currently underway and involves interviews with nationally based policy-makers, civil society organizations and academics. A jury of notable experts will evaluate the nominated policies according to their positive impact on sustainable development and human security goals. The winning policies will then be announced at a ceremony on 23 October 2013 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, on the eve of UN Disarmament Week, 24 – 30 October 2013.

The full lists of nominated policies and Jury members is available at www.worldfuturecouncil.org/fpa_2013.html (from June 6) and below.

Nominations of the Future Policy Award 2013

National Policies

1.   Albania– Action Plan for the Destruction of Surplus Munitions in the Albanian Armed Forces, 2008.
2.   Aotearoa-New Zealand– New Zealand Nuclear Free Zone, Disarmament, and Arms Control Act, 1987.
3.   Argentina– National Programme for the Voluntary Surrender of Firearms, 2006.
4.   Australia– National Agreement on Firearms, 1996.
5.   Austria– Austrian Federal Constitutional Law on Nuclear Free Austria, 1999.
6.   Austria– Federal Act on the Prohibition of Cluster Munitions, 2008.
7.   Belgium– Law on Anti-personnel Mines, 1995.
8.   Belgium– Law regulating Economic and Individual Activities with Weapons, 2006.
9.   Brazil– Statute of Disarmament, Law No. 10,826/03, 2003.
10.  Costa Rica– Abolition of the Army, Article 12 of the Constitution, 1949.
11.  Iceland– Plan of Action for the Implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325, 2008.
12.  Mongolia– Law of Mongolia on its Nuclear Weapon Free Status, 2000.
13.  Mozambique and South Africa–  Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Mozambique and the Government of the Republic of South Africa in Respect of Cooperation and Mutual Assistance in the field of Crime Combating, 1995.
14.  Norway– Ethical Guidelines for the Norwegian Government Pension Fund, 2004.
15.  Norway– Act relating to the implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions in Norwegian law, No. 28, 2008.
16.  Philippines– Nuclear Free Amendment to the Philippine Constitution (Article 2, Section 8), 1987.
17.  South Africa– National Policy on Non-Proliferation, Disarmament and Arms Control, 1993.
18.  United States of America– Assembled Chemical Weapons Assessment (ACWA) Program, 1996.
19.  United States of America– Cooperative Threat Reduction Program, 1991.

Regional Policies

20.  Africa– African Nuclear Weapon Free Zone Treaty, Treaty of Pelindaba, 1996.
21.  Central Asia– Treaty on a Nuclear Weapon Free Zone in Central Asia, Treaty of Semipalatinsk, 2006.
22.  Latin America– Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean, Treaty of Tlatelolco, 1967.
23.  Southeast Asia– Treaty on the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon Free Zone, Bangkok Treaty, 1995.
24.  South Pacific– South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone Treaty, Treaty of Rarotonga, 1985.
25.  West Africa– ECOWAS Convention on Small Arms and Light Weapons, their Ammunition and other related Materials, 2006.

ENDS

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