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New Zealand signs treaty against nuclear terrorism

Hon Phil Goff Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade

16 September 2005

New Zealand signs treaty against nuclear terrorism

New Zealand has signed a United Nations treaty strengthening international efforts to reduce the risk of nuclear terrorism, Foreign Minister Phil Goff said today.

The International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism calls for states to ban the use, or threat of use, of nuclear materials for terrorist purposes and to co-operate with international nuclear terrorism investigations and prosecutions.

“We cannot afford to be lax in our response to the threat of catastrophic terrorism," Mr Goff said.

"Terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda have already tried to get hold of nuclear material to inflict mass casualties. Were these groups to succeed in their plans, the human costs would be horrendous.

“All members of the international community must work together to prevent this nightmare from becoming a reality.

“New Zealand is a longstanding supporter of the international campaign to prevent and suppress terrorism. Our signature is a further demonstration of this commitment,” Mr Goff said.

The convention is the 13th international anti-terrorism treaty New Zealand has signed. It will enter into force after 22 countries have ratified it, and 62 other countries have indicated they will sign the convention.

ENDS

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