14 November 2001 Media Statement
US, Russian cuts in nuclear weapons welcomed
Disarmament Minister Matt Robson welcomed the announcement today that the US will slash its nuclear weapons stockpile by
about two-thirds and that Russia will try to respond in kind.
He urged Presidents Bush and Putin to now deliver on their commitment to the total elimination of nuclear weapons.
“This is a tremendous step forward, and New Zealand encourages both countries to act with the highest level of ambition
in completely eliminating their nuclear stockpiles.”
“New Zealand has considerable moral authority internationally on the issue of disarmament.
“Alongside our New Agenda colleagues (Mexico, Brazil, South Africa, Ireland, Sweden and Egypt) we have consistently
pushed for a ban on all testing of nuclear weapons.
“The events of September 11 have been an impetus for disarmament. No-one wants to see these sorts of weapons in the
hands of terrorists.
“We must take heart from the hopeful signs that are emerging: we have new steps towards disarmament, the Taleban is in
disarray, and there’s a new willingness internationally to assist with peace between Palestine and Israel.
“I also believe we are in a stronger position today to move ahead on our plans for a nuclear weapons free Southern
Hemisphere,” says Matt Robson.