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UN disarmament chief Izumi Nakamitsu flags new challenges facing the disarmament agenda in the 21st century. Video: UN News

Pacific Media Centre Newsdesk

Timor-Leste and Indonesia have both joined the growing international consensus to abolish nuclear weapons.

Both countries — along with New Zealand — voted in favor of a new UN treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons, reports ETAN.

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons will open for signature
by states at the United Nations in New York on September 20.

READ MORE: Background to the UN nuclear weapons prohibition treaty

Television New Zealand reports that Aotearoa/NZ and more than 120 other states voted in favour of the final text of the treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons during the final session of the UN Conference to Negotiate a Legally Binding Instrument to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons in New York.


New Zealand was a vice-president of the UN conference and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade worked over the past five years on the initiative to ban nuclear weapons.

“Its potential to end the threat of nuclear destruction is a gift for future generations,” Peace Movement Aotearoa said.

However, Foreign Affairs Minister Gerry Brownlee said none of the states that took part in the negotiations actually possess nuclear weapons, reports TVNZ.

“We need to be realistic about the prospects of this treaty leading to a reduction in nuclear weapons in the short term. However, the treaty is an important step towards a world free of nuclear weapons, which has been a long-held goal for New Zealand.”

The treaty bans the development, testing, production, manufacture, possession, transfer, use or threat of use, deployment, installation or stationing of nuclear weapons and other nuclear explosive devices.

Nuclear-armed states have a “clear pathway” to join the treaty as well, and destroy their nuclear weapons in a time-bound, verifiable and irreversible manner.

“Some countries like New Zealand have already enacted a national ban on nuclear weapons. This treaty now provides the first legal prohibition on nuclear weapons at a global level,” Brownlee said.

New Zealand is expected to be one of the first states to sign and ratify the treaty when it opens for signature.