NZ not always committed to a nuke free world - RePress

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Sunday, September 27

NZ not always committed to a nuke free world

When the Prime Minister speaks at the United Nations this week on New Zealand’s commitment to a nuclear free world he will need to explain why we don’t always support one, Green Party MP Dr Kennedy Graham said today.

Late last year, at the United Nations, New Zealand voted against two resolutions opposing the use of nuclear weapons.

Today in Parliament’s Question Time Attorney-General Chris Finlayson, answering on behalf of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, suggested if those same resolutions came up again New Zealand would continue to vote against them

The resolutions New Zealand voted against were UN General Assembly resolution 63/75 which called for an international agreement against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons, and resolution 63/47 calling for measures for reducing nuclear danger. Both resolutions were put forward by India.

"The reasons the Government gave today for voting against these resolutions are flawed," said Dr Graham.

"The Government claims that India lacks the credentials to promote resolutions against nuclear deterrence because it has the weapons itself and has not joined the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty."

"But the permanent Security Council members, all possessing nuclear weapons and parties to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, violate their own obligation under that Treaty to complete negotiations for the elimination of nuclear weapons. Yet our Government has no compunction supporting disarmament resolutions sponsored by Western powers."

"New Zealand should apply its nuclear-free policy logically and consistently – whether a UN resolution is advanced by the US, or Mexico, or India or anyone else."

Earlier this year the Prime Minister confirmed to Parliament that his Government stood by the Lange Government’s renunciation of nuclear deterrence, both for itself and all other countries. Mr Key also confirmed that New Zealand supported resolutions at the UN to that end.

"The Prime Minister will celebrate our nuclear-free policy in his statement to the UN later this week.

"Instead of resting on Labour’s laurels from the 1980s, Mr Key should go one step further, and support India’s resolutions and actively cooperate with Costa Rica and Malaysia for negotiations on a Nuclear Weapons Convention," said Dr Graham.

"Kia kaha, John Key!"

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