Pacific Nuclear Free Zone

( Disarmament Minister Georgina te Heuheu has welcomed US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s announcement that the United States will work towards adhering to the South Pacific Nuclear-Free Zone.

“New Zealand congratulates the United States on taking the important step of working to ratify the protocols to the South Pacific Nuclear-Free Zone.

“New Zealanders and others in the Pacific have long stood firm against the danger of nuclear weapons and their testing in our region.

“Through this decision, the Obama Administration is acknowledging those convictions and committing itself to support the Treaty.

“This is another demonstration of President Obama’s commitment to working towards a nuclear-weapon-free world,” Mrs te Heuheu said.

The Treaty of Rarotonga, which was adopted in 1986 and created the South Pacific Nuclear-Free Zone, bans the use, testing, possession and stationing of nuclear weapons within the Zone, as well as the dumping of radioactive waste.

The Treaty has three protocols open to the five acknowledged nuclear-weapon states, by which those states commit not to use, threaten to use, test or station nuclear weapons inside the zone. The other four nuclear-weapon states have already ratified the protocols.

Secretary Clinton made the announcement during her statement to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference in New York, where Mrs te Heuheu is leading New Zealand’s delegation. At the same time Secretary Clinton announced the US would ratify the protocols to the African nuclear.

Media Release 4 May 2010 from Hon Georgina te Heuheu, Minister of Disarmament and Arms Control.
Telephone (04)817 6814