New Zealand remains strongly committed to the achievement of a world free of nuclear weapons. We firmly believe that the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) plays a crucial role in achieving such a world, and we will continue to support the Treaty to enable it to fulfil its role in contributing to this ultimate goal.
As previously recognised at this meeting, the CTBT also makes an important contribution to constraining the qualitative improvement of existing nuclear weapons and ending the development of advanced new types of such weapons, as well as preventing their proliferation.
We welcome those States which have ratified the CTBT since our last meeting here in New York for the sixth Article XIV Conference in 2009. We also welcome all those who have made progress towards ratification of the CTBT and we encourage them to continue this important work. Each new ratification serves to further universalise the Treaty.
This seventh Article XIV Conference, 15 years since the negotiation of the Treaty, finds us still striving towards its entry into force. We call on States to demonstrate their commitment to an end to nuclear testing by ratifying the Treaty without delay. A world free of nuclear testing and ultimately free of nuclear weapons will be a better world for us all.
New Zealand welcomes the progress made to date on the Treaty’s verification regime, particularly the International Monitoring System. It is crucial that we continue to build and maintain this system so that it is operational at the Treaty’s entry into force.
New Zealand recognises the valuable scientific and civil benefits already provided to states by the International Monitoring System. These developments represent an increasingly important global scientific resource. This is clearly demonstrated by the work now being done in the field of tsunami early warnings and other disaster alert systems. In particular, New Zealand welcomed the rapid response of the CTBTO to the tsunami and the ensuing nuclear power plant accident earlier this year in Fukushima, Japan.
New Zealand was pleased to participate in the 2010 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, which reaffirmed the essential role of the CTBT within the nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime. Additionally, we strongly support the United Nations General Assembly resolution on the CTBT, which recognises the Treaty as a fundamental instrument in the field of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.
New Zealand’s hope is that we can continue to work together, focussing on the issues which unite us rather than those which divide us, to enable the entry into force of the Treaty at the soonest possible date.Thank You Mr President