News » New Zealand government must continue to champion ban on cluster bombs
19 December 2011: The coalition against cluster bombs looks forward to working productively with the government and all political parties in support of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, but is deeply disappointed that the long-standing and widely respected position of New Zealand’s Minister for Disarmament and Arms Control has been scrapped.
“The loss of our dedicated Disarmament Minister is significant as this role has helped New Zealand to play a unique leadership role in the international movement to ban cluster bombs and in other crucial disarmament efforts,” said Mary Wareham, coordinator of the Aotearoa New Zealand Cluster Munition Coalition (ANZCMC).
The post-election Cabinet listing of Ministerial portfolios announced on 12 December 2011 does not list a Minister for Disarmament and Arms Control, but instead stated that New Zealand’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Murray McCully, now “incorporates the responsibilities formerly included in the Disarmament and Arms Control portfolio.”
In a 13 December 2011 letter, the ANZCMC welcomed Hon. Murray McCully’s assumption of responsibilities on disarmament and outlined its expectations for the New Zealand’s government’s engagement in the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions. The NGO coalition expressed “deep disappointment” that the portfolio formerly represented by the Minister for Disarmament and Arms Control has been incorporated into the overall responsibilities of the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
“New Zealand needs active and constructive engagement by a dedicated Minister to advance the humanitarian disarmament agenda, including the ban on cluster bombs,” said Wareham. “We look forward to a productive relationship with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and to working with all parties in support of the Convention on Cluster Munitions.”
Press Release: Aotearoa New Zealand Cluster Munition Coalition, READ MORE...