NZ supports UN move towards nuclear disarmament

  • Doug Graham
Disarmament and Arms Control

The Minister for Disarmament and Arms Control, Hon D.A.M. Graham, said today New Zealand had voted for a UN resolution to follow up the landmark advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice on the legality of the threat or use of nuclear weapons.

The resolution, put forward by Malaysia, was adopted by 94 votes to 22 in the First Committee of the United Nations General Assembly. There were 29 abstentions.

Mr Graham said that NZ had supported taking the issue to the International Court of Justice when it was considered by the General Assembly two years ago. NZ later made submissions to the Court strongly supporting the case against nuclear weapons.

'In July this year, the Court concluded unanimously that there was an obligation to bring to a conclusion negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects,' he said.

'The nuclear weapon states must now commit themselves to a phased programme of nuclear disarmament.

'The ultimate goal remains the complete elimination of nuclear weapons and a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.'

Mr Graham said the acceptance of today's resolution ensures that the International Court's opinion will remain on the agenda of the UN at its next session.

'The international community will want to see some real progress in 1997,' he said.