INDEPENDENT NEWS

Cablegate: New Zealand Supports U.S. Apec Radioactive Sources

Published: Fri 13 May 2005 04:04 AM
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
C O N F I D E N T I A L WELLINGTON 000385
SIPDIS
STATE FOR EAP/FO AMBASSADOR MORIARTY, NP DAS SEMMEL,
EAP/RSP AND EAP/ANZ
E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/13/2015
TAGS: KNNP PARM ETTC KSTC EAID ETRD ECIN NZ APECO
SUBJECT: NEW ZEALAND SUPPORTS U.S. APEC RADIOACTIVE SOURCES
INITIATIVE
REF: SECSTATE 79844
Classified By: DEPUTY CHIEF OF MISSION DAVID BURNETT,
FOR REASONS 1.4 (B) AND (D)
1. (U) This message contains an action suggestion, at para
5.
2. (U) Post shared reftel demarche with the Disarmament
Division at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT).
The Division takes the lead at MFAT on all bilateral and
multilateral disarmament-related issues.
3. (U) On May 11, Matthew Aileone, a Policy Officer in the
division, told Pol-Econ Couns that New Zealand would support
the U.S. APEC Radioactive Sources Initiative. Aileone also
confirmed that new radiation protection legislation is now
under Cabinet review. The proposed legislation would enable
New Zealand to adhere to:
-- the IAEA's Code of Conduct on the Safety and Security of
Radioactive Sources,
-- International Basic Safety Standards for Protection
against Ionizing Radiation and for the safety of Radiation
Sources,
-- the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear
Material, and
-- the Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel
Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management.
Unfortunately, Aileone could not confirm at this time that
the proposed legislation would enable New Zealand to follow
the IAEA import/export guidance. He promised to let Pol-Econ
Couns know the week of May 15 whether or not New Zealand
would commit to the guidance.
4. (SBU) According to Aileone, the Government aims for the
legislation to be passed before the end of this year. The
date may slip a bit, however, as this is a general election
year (elections will probably be called sometime between late
July and mid-September) and legislators will be focused on
campaigning.
5. (C/NOFORN) Comment: New Zealand's status as a
nuclear-free country dwells deep within the national psyche.
At the UN Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference
now underway in New York, New Zealand has strongly resisted
our efforts to highlight nonproliferation as the key focus of
the review. Rather, the Kiwis insist that the treaty
concentrate equally on disarmament commitments by the U.S.
and other nuclear states. Bilaterally, New Zealand's 1985
anti-nuclear legislation still impedes much military and
intelligence cooperation with the United States and
contributes to its foreign policy drift away from us. In
short, it is often difficult for U.S. officials to deal with
New Zealand's strong opposition to all things nuclear.
6. (C/NOFORN) But there is a bright spot: we have in the
past successfully encouraged the Kiwis to engage other
countries proactively on nuclear issues in a way that is rare
for this unofficially non-aligned country. For example, when
New Zealand was on the IAEA Board, the Embassy successfully
persuaded NZ officials to demarche Iran on the need to comply
with IAEA requirements. If Washington agencies/other posts
advise us which APEC countries might benefit from a similar
Kiwi approach, Post would be happy to make the request to our
New Zealand counterparts.
Swindells
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILE © Scoop Media