New Zealand will become the first country in the world to have a Ministry for Disarmament and Arms Control, which will place special emphasis on ending existing nuclear arsenals.
On Tuesday, Jacinta Ardern, New Zealand’s prime minister, made the announcement remarking that “we must commit ourselves to non-proliferation and disarmament, and to the norms and rules that support these efforts.”
New Zealand has for years been one of the pioneering countries in anti-nuclear policies, playing a very active role. “The risk to global peace and security is growing,” Ardern warned, in a speech offered at Wellington’s New Zealand Institute for International Affairs. Then she added “The great challenge we have today comes from North Korea and is located in our region,” in relation to the explosion of a possible atomic conflict between nuclear powers.
The president is part of the Labor Party and took the opportunity to highlight the need to stop present and future proliferation, of not only nuclear weapons, but also chemical and conventional.
According to the New Zealand Herald, the portfolio will be occupied by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Winston Peters.
Ardern, in turn, announced that the country is preparing the early ratification in Parliament of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, to which the ocean nation and 55 other countries committed last July in the United Nations.