Phil Twyford to attend Nuclear Ban Treaty meeting

Disarmament and Arms Control

Disarmament and Arms Control Minister Phil Twyford will lead Aotearoa New Zealand’s delegation to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) First Meeting of States Parties in Austria later this month, following a visit to the Netherlands.

The Nuclear Ban Treaty is the first global treaty to make nuclear weapons illegal for those who join.

“Nuclear weapons pose an unacceptable threat to all humanity – a threat again highlighted by the recent actions of Russia and North Korea,” Phil Twyford said.

“The Treaty’s entry into force last year was a milestone in our work to eliminate nuclear weapons. This is a cause close to New Zealand’s heart, and we have been strong supporters of the Treaty from the start.

“At the meeting in Austria, I will emphasise Aotearoa New Zealand’s support for a nuclear-weapon free world, and for advancing the Treaty to help achieve this. In particular, I will be advocating for progress on nuclear disarmament by the nuclear weapon states.

I will also show our support for implementation of the Treaty’s provisions on environmental remediation and victim support, including through action on the legacy of nuclear testing in the Pacific.

“The case for action is urgent, and the message is clear – nuclear weapons must be eliminated,” Phil Twyford said.

Minister Twyford will also attend a conference on the humanitarian impacts of nuclear weapons, and speak at civil society and parliamentary events organised by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN).

He will meet counterparts from Austria, the Netherlands and other countries attending the Ban Treaty meeting, and hold separate meetings with three international agencies – the International Atomic Energy Agency; the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test Ban Treaty Organisation; and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

“These agencies are pillars of the global disarmament and non-proliferation architecture. I will be emphasising Aotearoa New Zealand’s support for them, at a time when multilateral institutions are coming under increasing pressure,” Phil Twyford said.

Minister Twyford will be travelling from 15 to 25 June.