Time is right for nuclear weapons convention

Published: Thu 9 Aug 2012 05:18 PM
Disarmament Spokesperson
Foreign Affairs Spokesperson
Time is right for nuclear weapons convention
Cross-party support for the nuclear-free agenda shows that the time is right for New Zealand to support a nuclear weapons convention says Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson, Phil Goff and Labour’s Disarmament spokesperson, Maryan Street.
“Last week the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee approved a report in response to a petition from Peace Movement Aotearoa, seeking New Zealand’s active engagement with like-minded countries to start negotiating a nuclear weapons convention.
“This convention would result in a treaty to prohibit the development, stockpiling and use of nuclear weapons. Officials were reluctant to support something which they thought did not have much chance of success because major powers would not participate in such negotiations, but the committee concluded otherwise,” Phil Goff said.
“One thing is certain, if nobody starts such a process, there certainly won’t be any such treaty. Officials said we couldn’t do it over cluster munitions and we did.
“New Zealand has a reputation for pushing the boundaries in this area. In the week we commemorate the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War II, it seems appropriate to take up this call with other countries of similar views,” Maryan Street said.
“President Obama’s initiative in this area has given new hope for a nuclear-free world,” Phil Goff said. “We have an historic opportunity to push for countries to abandon nuclear weapons.”
“It would be great if we could leave our children with the mechanism for ridding the world of these weapons.
“We are aware of the complexity and difficulty of negotiating a convention of this sort, but that doesn’t mean we have to give up on the idea,” Maryan Street said.

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