On 20 Oct. 2014, New Zealand Disarmament Ambassador Dell Higgie delivered a statement [PDF 70KB] to the United Nations General Assembly’s First Committee on behalf of over 150 countries, expressing their deep concern about the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons. The joint statement conveys the Group’s view that nuclear weapons must never again be used and that the total elimination of nuclear weapons is in the interests of the very survival of humanity.
The joint statement this year was joined by a record number of countries. Its origins lie in the Action Plan adopted by Parties to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in 2010 but it started out in 2012 as a statement delivered on behalf of 16 countries. New Zealand took over its coordination from South Africa mid-2013 and brought the tally up to 125 at last year’s UN General Assembly (including securing for the first time Japan’s support for the statement).
The growing support for the joint statement signals renewed momentum behind the push to deliver on the commitment to nuclear disarmament in the NPT. It reflects, as well, the broad participation by States at the first and second Conferences on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons held in Oslo in 2013 and in Nayarit, Mexico in early 2014. The joint statement also looks forward to the third such Conference, to be held in Vienna on 8-9 December 2014.
For more on this story, visit: Joint statement on humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons – NZ Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.