New Zealand to host nuclear non-proliferation meeting

  • Georgina te Heuheu
Disarmament and Arms Control

New Zealand will host the annual plenary meeting of the Nuclear Suppliers Group in Christchurch next week, Disarmament Minister Hon Georgina te Heuheu announced today.

"The group was established in 1974 to ensure the trade in nuclear materials and goods was properly regulated.  While New Zealand obviously does not trade in nuclear items, we do trade in some high-tech goods which are deemed to be sensitive for proliferation reasons.

"Hosting the meeting in Christchurch next week is a concrete indication of our commitment to the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons," Mrs te Heuheu said.

The meeting will be chaired by New Zealand's Ambassador to the UN in Vienna, Jennifer Macmillan, and will focus mainly on information exchange and updating the group's export guidelines.

The Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) is a group of 46 countries which aims to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons through export controls on nuclear goods and nuclear-related technologies.  New Zealand is a member because the Group's guidelines cover high-technology "dual-use" goods, which are mostly designed for civilian use but could be used in weapons systems. 

New Zealand joined the NSG in 1994.  Participating governments take turns to host the annual Plenary.  This is the first time New Zealand has hosted an NSG meeting.  Mrs te Heuheu will formally open the meeting on Thursday 24 June.