Kiwis Support UN Secretary-General’s Renewed Call for Nuclear Abolition
Three Kiwi anti-nuclear campaigners are off to New York next month for what they believe could be a historic opportunity
to set in motion preparations for a global treaty to abolish nuclear weapons.
Kate Dewes, Robert Green and Alyn Ware are attending the five-yearly Review Conference of States Parties to the Nuclear
Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) – which includes nearly every country in the world.
Coming on the heels of US President Obama’s new nuclear policy released yesterday, his Nuclear Security Summit next week
which Prime Minister John Key will attend, and a recent request by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to all parliaments
in February to act in support of nuclear disarmament, the three New Zealanders believe that conditions are favourable to
make a real break-through at the conference, to be held at the United Nations from 3-28 May.
Yesterday, Mr Ban announced at the former Soviet nuclear test site in Semipalatinsk, Kazakhstan, that he will press all
the nuclear weapon states at Obama’s Summit to scrap their nuclear arsenals. Dr Dewes, who is a member of the UN
Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Disarmament, says: “This is further evidence of courageous leadership by Mr Ban.”
In 2008 he urged countries to commence negotiations on a Nuclear Weapons Convention – a treaty to abolish nuclear
weapons globally – or a package of agreements that would achieve the same purpose. He has circulated a draft treaty,
which was prepared by a group of non-governmental organizations led by Alyn Ware, as a guide to such negotiations.
“The UN Secretary-General’s nuclear disarmament plan is getting considerable support from around the world,” says Ware,
who led a delegation of parliamentarians to meet with him in the UN last October to discuss the plan. “Already the
Inter-Parliamentary Union, which represents 150 parliaments including most of those from the nuclear weapon states and
their allies, has supported it. And like-minded governments have been meeting to discuss its implementation.”
“There are indications that governments could start a preparatory process of consultations about what a Nuclear Weapons
Convention would entail,” says Ware, back in New Zealand for a couple of weeks following a series of NPT preparatory
meetings with key governments overseas. “They could also expedite practical work on some of the elements such as
The continued adherence by the nuclear weapon states and their allies to the doctrine of nuclear deterrence remains a
key obstacle to progress. However, Robert Green, a former British Navy Commander and bombardier-navigator in
nuclear-armed aircraft, plans to launch his new book on more credible, effective and responsible alternative strategies
to nuclear deterrence at the NPT meeting in New York.
Cdr Green says: “US allies and friends need to follow New Zealand’s lead in rejecting nuclear deterrence, which only
increases their insecurity. The forthcoming NPT Review Conference provides the opportunity for them to do so.”