Regional seminar on Parliaments and the Implementation of UNSC Resolution 1540 | NZ Parliament
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Regional seminar on Parliaments and the Implementation of UNSC Resolution 1540 | NZ Parliament

November 16, 2019

It’s great to have the United Nations and
IPU down here in the Pacific meeting with Pacific countries here in the New Zealand
Parliament to talk about the UN resolution on the non-proliferation of weapons of mass
destruction – that’s nuclear weapons, biological and chemical weapons. And it’s important because for small island
nations the requirements of this UN declaration are quite onerous. So it’s an opportunity to talk together about
how we can work together to make this a safe Pacific for all of those of us who live in
it. And we’re absolutely delighted to have so
many people here with us today. The role of parliamentarians is evolving,
and now we find when it comes to implementing treaties and protocols that the executive
branch signs, parliaments are indispensable – because they’re the ones who make the laws,
they’re the ones who enact legislation. So over the past two days we have basically
been talking about what the resolution is about, what are the binding obligations on
the nations. So it’s been building and raising awareness,
sharing good practices, parliamentarians talking to each other from the region. And thank you to the Parliament of New Zealand
for providing this platform. New Zealand and the Pacific are joined by
history, geography, politics and demographics. Now more than ever New Zealand’s people, economy
and environment are connected to the prosperity, wellbeing and security of the Pacific region
in which we live. The programme of work is known as Tai a Kiwi
– Stronger Pacific Parliaments. And I’m really passionate about making connections
in our region, strengthening democracy and good governance, and sharing our knowledge
and resources. I’m pleased that we can host this seminar
to link up parliaments and a range of international agencies working in the disarmament and the
security space. This is a key way to identify areas of priority
and to learn more about the regional pressure points in the movement of illicit weapons
and other controlled items. Parliamentarians have a unique role to play
in this process, in that their advocacy, their championing of [UN resolution] 1540 implementation,
as well as the non-proliferation regimes generally speaking, is a very effective contribution
to ensuring that non-proliferation is promoted and furthered – certainly in the Pacific. As a member of this region, New Caledonia
is very happy to attend this meeting to talk about security, about biological risk and
chemical risk to populations and our countries. So it’s important to New Caledonia to be part
of the decision. We’ve been learning a lot in the past few
days in terms of what are there, the assistance that we could get, and perhaps examples that
have been laid by other smaller islands as well, particularly in the Caribbean. So we appreciate the input as well from our
friends from the Caribbean. I think it’s an eye opener to most of us. I’m a new member of Parliament in Fiji, and
the information that we’ve gone through, what our countries need to do in terms of the treaty
and although the convention, is going to help us. In saying that, the reporting aspects that
the United Nations require of state parties need to be seen to be done. The voice of the Pacific is an important voice,
and it needs to be heard. And I think through this event today and over
the next two days, what we are doing really is highlighting the importance of the Pacific
in a global context. And there can be nothing more global, nothing
more pressing than peace and security when it comes to international affairs.

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