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MPs push for peace

MPs push for peace

Parliamentarians can be very effective in pushing for progress towards a more peaceful world, Disarmament and Arms Control Minister, Marian Hobbs said today.

The international Parliamentary Network for Nuclear Disarmament, meeting in Wellington tomorrow, has established a chain of momentum within key domestic parliaments. She agreed with conference chair, Dr Nick Smith, that the concept of a Southern Hemisphere and Adjacent Areas Nuclear Weapon Free Zone is quite achievable.

"The active lobbying by network members has made a real difference in increasing support for the nuclear disarmament message, including through the resolution promoted by the New Agenda group of countries," Marian Hobbs said.

New Zealand is one of seven members of the coalition, born in 1998 out of concern about the lack of progress in implementing nuclear disarmament commitments and the implications of India's and Pakistan's nuclear tests.

"In pursuing nuclear disarmament objectives at the 2005 nuclear non-proliferation treaty review conference we must increase pressure on the nuclear weapon states to phase out their nuclear arsenals.

"Nuclear non proliferation and disarmament are two sides of the same coin and both must be pursued energetically.

"Active lobbying by parliamentarians within domestic legislatures in all regions of the world is a vital link in this process."

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