Monday, June 24, 2024

Twyford to urge return to path of nuclear disarmament

Disarmament and Arms Control Minister, Phil Twyford says he will be advocating for nuclear weapon States to return to the path of nuclear disarmament when he leads New Zealand’s delegation to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference at the United Nations in New York next week.

The Minister said he will be asking the States to uphold their end of the “grand bargain” at the heart of the Treaty.

“Aotearoa New Zealand has a long history of advocating for a world free of nuclear weapons,” Mr Twyford said.

“The NPT has been the cornerstone of international nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation since 1970, and has been successful in limiting the spread of nuclear weapons. But progress on implementation of the Treaty’s disarmament obligations has been less impressive, and there are signs of a new nuclear arms race. This is unacceptable.”

He said President Putin’s threats to use nuclear weapons since Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified attack on Ukraine had again shown the destabilising power of nuclear weapons.

“We do not have the luxury of waiting for a more stable international environment before taking action.”

“To this end, during her address to NATO last month Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern stressed that the international community’s solidarity with Ukraine must be matched by an equal commitment to strengthen international institutions, multilateral forums, and disarmament. This is a message I will be reiterating in New York,” Mr Twyford said.

During his visit, Minister Twyford will attend the Review Conference’s High Level Segment and deliver New Zealand’s statement. He will also meet with counterparts from around the world and the UN.

The Parliamentary delegation includes Labour’s Jenny Salesa and National’s Todd McClay.

Minister Twyford will be travelling from 30 July to 6 August.

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