UN Disarmament Head To Visit New Zealand

  • Don McKinnon
Disarmament and Arms Control

The United Nations' leading disarmament official is to visit New Zealand for consultations with the Government on February 16 and 17, Disarmament and Arms Control Minister Don McKinnon announced today.

Mr McKinnon said Under Secretary-General for Disarmament Jayantha Dhanapala had a longstanding and distinguished involvement with disarmament issues. His appointment last year meant he now held responsibility within the UN Secretariat for the full range of the UN's disarmament activities.

"New Zealand is a strong supporter of the disarmament work of the United Nations, and I am looking forward to exchanging views with Mr Dhanapala on a range of issues," Mr McKinnon said.

Mr Dhanapala served as a diplomat for Sri Lanka before becoming Director of the Geneva-based UN Institute for Disarmament Research from 1987 to 1992. In 1995 he chaired the successful Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review and Extension Conference and was a member of the Canberra Commission which issued an influential report on nuclear disarmament in 1996.