Sunday, June 16, 2024

Nuclear treaty failure ‘diplomatic sabotage’ by Russia

Minister for Disarmament and Control, Phil Twyford, says the Government is deeply disappointed the 10th Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) has failed, with the adoption of the final text blocked by Russia.

“This is an act of diplomatic sabotage at the very time the world needs cooperation on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation,” Mr Twyford said.

The month-long conference, which concluded in New York earlier today, brought together the 191 states parties to the NPT to review and reinvigorate the Treaty, which is the cornerstone of the nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime.

“The outcome blocked by Russia fell far short of New Zealand’s ambitions for the Conference and did not respond to calls from the overwhelming majority of its states parties for urgent progress on nuclear disarmament,” Minister Twyford said.

“It is extremely disappointing that even with the United States’ offer of new negotiations on arms control the nuclear weapons states between them were unable to agree anything significant on actual disarmament.”

But adoption of the draft outcome would have at least been a welcome sign of the collective cooperation so sorely needed at this time of global uncertainty and insecurity, he said.

“The draft outcome did reflect New Zealand’s deep concern at the heightened threat and devastating consequences of nuclear weapons use. It also signposted new pathways for work on nuclear risk reduction, enhanced transparency and accountability, and efforts to address nuclear harm, including in the Pacific, but Russia’s objections have prevented even these modest steps.”

“With the very real nuclear risk apparent in today’s world, and growing concern about the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons, this failure is unacceptable and puts further stress on the NPT.”

“New Zealand remains committed to the NPT and to the pursuit of a world without nuclear weapons. We will continue to work with all NPT states parties and other partners to this end,” Mr Twyford said.

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