New Zealand PM speaks out over nuclear danger
New Zealand’s influential Prime Minister, Jacinda Arden, spoke out as countries take stock of the state of the spread of nuclear weapons around the world this week at the United Nations.
Currently 191 countries are meeting at the UN to renew the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and negotiations are going down to the wire. These talks offer a chance to breathe new life into nuclear disarmament at a time when the world needs that more than ever, she writes.
In her opinion article published in the UK’s The Guardian newspaper, she warns of the growing nuclear danger. “Our world is at greater risk of nuclear catastrophe than at any time since the height of the cold war. Growing superpower tensions and two decades of stalled progress on arms control have pushed the risk of these weapons closer to reality,” she writes.
Prime Minister Arden notes that New Zealand has a special role to play.
“New Zealand is calling on the nuclear weapons states – the US, Russia, China, France and the UK – to step back from the nuclear abyss, and provide that leadership by committing to negotiate a new multilateral nuclear disarmament framework.
“We are a Pacific nation. Our region bears the scars of decades of nuclear testing, on both the people and the lands and waters of our region. That’s why for 35 years New Zealand has been proudly nuclear-free and an international advocate for a world free of nuclear weapons.
“This does not mean we are naïve to real world dynamics, nor does our geographic location mean we have the luxury of a moral stance that others do not. In fact, New Zealand’s message – that nuclear weapons do not make anyone safer and no longer have a place in our world – reflects the view of the overwhelming majority of countries. We just need to believe a different approach is possible.”
- Read “The world stands on a nuclear precipice – we must avoid catastrophe” by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern published August 25, 2022 in The Guardian
(Cover: Brussels, Belgium. 25th January 2019. New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker hold a news conference. Via Shutterstock.)