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UN Christmas Vote –a step for Peace

Nuclear Free NZ Peacemaking


UN Christmas Vote –a step for Peace

The United Nations General Assembly has formally adopted the resolution to proceed with negotiations to Ban Nuclear Weapons!

The resolution was adopted by a large majority, with 113 UN member states voting in favour, 35 voting against and 13 abstaining. Several governments even switched to ‘Yes’ from the October vote.
This was largely due to the efforts of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear weapons (ICAN) who encouraged some hesitant governments to take this positive stand.
The New Zealand government has been an active supporter of this proposal through our Minister of Foreign Affairs Murray McCulley and effective Disarmament Ambassador Dell Higgie.
There are many peace groups in New Zealand who continue to lobby government to promote this anti-nuclear stance and to educate people about the horrific consequences of nuclear weapons and the need to eliminate them.
Laurie Ross of Nuclear Free New Zealand Peacemaking says ‘New Zealand is a natural leader in nuclear disarmament as we declared a Nuclear Free Zone in 1987. So we are thrilled to see that the majority of governments of the world are uniting to prohibit these indiscriminate weapons of mass destruction.’

The vote took place late at night on Friday before the Christmas holiday and many government missions were already closed for the holidays. Due to the UN’s bureaucratic processes, as well as attempts by the United States to withdraw funding for the resolution, the vote was much later than expected. But fortunately there were still sufficient numbers to ensure the resolution was passed as the momentum that has built up over the last year is unstoppable. The path is now clear for negotiations to commence in March 2017 on the Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty!

See ICAN’s article about the vote and the next steps: www.icanw.org/campaign-news/un-general-assembly-approves-historic-resolution/

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