Clear message handed to nuclear states

MPs Phil Goff, Shane Reti and Marama Fox are due to meet with diplomats from the United Kingdom, Russia, the United States, China and France tomorrow to hand deliver a letter calling for their countries to disarm their nuclear weapons.

The letter, with more than 60 signatures attached, is signed by MPs from every political party in Parliament.

Chair of the New Zealand Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Phil Goff said the letter was directed at the five official nuclear states who signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1970.

“Forty five years ago, in recognition of the destructive power of nuclear weapons, which have the potential to destroy civilisation, a grand bargain was struck between the then five states with nuclear weapons and other nations.


“The non-weapon states agreed not to seek to acquire nuclear weapons while nuclear states agreed as a quid pro quo to implement disarmament.

“By and large non-proliferation has been successful, although India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea have since acquired nuclear weapons

“Despite repeating an unequivocal undertaking to disarm, the nuclear states have failed to fulfil their side of the bargain, and there are now 17,000 nuclear war heads in existence – far more than is needed as a deterrent and enough to destroy the world many times over.


“Later this month the Non-Proliferation Review Conference will see all the signatory states meeting in New York to review progress and set plans for the future.


“Our letter bluntly calls on the nuclear states to fulfil their promise and begin the process of nuclear disarmament now or risk the breakdown of the NPT process.

“In delivering the message directly to the representatives of those states we will leave them in no doubt as to the strong views held by the New Zealand Parliament and this country, and our expectations of them at the forthcoming conference,” Phil Goff said.