Morris to sign Ottawa Treaty for New Zealand

  • Don McKinnon
Disarmament and Arms Control

"Deborah Morris, Minister of Youth Affairs, will represent New Zealand in Ottawa at the signing of an international treaty banning anti-personnel landmines," Acting Prime Minister, Winston Peters, and Minister for Disarmament and Arms Control, Don McKinnon, said today.

More than 100 countries are gathering in Canada on the 3rd and 4th of December to sign the Ottawa Treaty, which is the result of months of negotiations between a vast number of countries opposed to the continued use and production of landmines.

"New Zealand has been a strong supporter of the Ottawa process," Mr McKinnon said.

"We deplore the use of these indiscriminate weapons which leave thousands of men, women and children maimed and limbless every year.

"From the outset, New Zealand has been at the centre of these negotiations. We welcome a successful conclusion."

Mr Peters said many young people who belong to the Red Cross and other Non Governmental organisations will welcome the Youth Minister signing the Treaty on their behalf.

"Sending Deborah Morris signals the abhorrence by young people towards landmines and their commitment to rid the world of this indiscriminate weapon. Many young New Zealanders empathised with the late Princess Diana that this was an issue whose time has come.

"Young people and children are often the victims of these dreadful weapons. The Ottawa Treaty seeks to make the world a safer place for our young people. It is fitting that youth are represented at the signing."

Deborah Morris departs for Ottawa tonight and will sign the Treaty on the 3rd of December.