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Ministry Statements and Speeches 2009

United Nations General Assembly, Sixty fourth Session, First Committee, L.4: The Risk of Nuclear Proliferation in the Middle East, Explanation of Vote

Statement by Raylene Liufalani, First Secretary, 29 October 2009

Mr Chairman

New Zealand has voted ‘yes’ on resolution L.4 entitled ‘The risk of proliferation in the Middle East.’ Consistent with our belief in the goal of a nuclear weapons free world, New Zealand is a strong and longstanding supporter of the universalisation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and is committed to the realisation of a nuclear-weapons-free zone in the Middle East, as mandated by the States Party to the NPT in 1995. We also consider that the IAEA will have a crucial role to play in verifying such a zone, and therefore urge all states that have not yet done so to sign, ratify and implement an Additional Protocol to allow the Agency to undertake its important work.

New Zealand wishes, however, to place on the record our concern regarding the absence in this resolution of any reference to other states in the Middle East which present significant nuclear proliferation concerns. We would hope that this lack of balance will be able to be addressed in future years.

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