INDEPENDENT NEWS

NZ becomes party to UN mercenaries convention

Published: Thu 23 Sep 2004 10:31 AM
NZ becomes party to UN mercenaries convention
Foreign Minister, Phil Goff, formally deposited New Zealand’s instrument of accession to the Mercenaries Convention in New York today.
“Under this Convention and legislation passed to implement it, it will become illegal to recruit, use, finance or train mercenaries in New Zealand.
“By taking this act, New Zealand has clearly demonstrated its opposition to hiring people to fight and kill for money in wars, with which they would otherwise have no connection.
“Apart from our ethnical opposition to people killing for money, the use of mercenaries has also been shown to be counterproductive in finding fair and peaceful resolutions of disputes.
“The convention does not however prohibit people being hired for policing or other security work overseas, nor does it prevent people who join an army overseas under standard conditions of service. It does not prohibit those motivated to join up to fight for a cause, which they believe in.
“Becoming a party to the Convention shows New Zealand’s willingness to discourage the use of mercenaries and ensure New Zealand does not become a place where mercenaries can be recruited, or escape prosecution.
“The Convention will enter into force for New Zealand on 22 October. The Convention is implemented in New Zealand through the Mercenary Activities (Prohibition) Act 2004, which received the royal assent on 6 July and will come into force on 22 October,” Mr Goff said.

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