Ardern disarmament aims versus Turnbull, Putin and Trump

Three days ago Jacinda Ardern promoted disarmament and arms control, and announced that she would reinstate the Cabinet position of Minister for Disarmament and Arms Control (with Winston peters responsible).

Disarmament and arms control are issues we need to take more action on in today’s global climate, says Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in a speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs in Wellington this morning.

“We will ensure New Zealand’s voice is heard on disarmament and arms control issues by reinstating the Cabinet position of Minister for Disarmament and Arms Control,” says Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

“The portfolio responsibility will be given to Rt Hon Winston Peters, and is an acknowledgment of the emphasis this government places on our long held anti-nuclear stance, and the role we must play now and in the future,” says the Prime Minister.

The portfolio will include considering the spread of nuclear, chemical and conventional weapons.

“We must recommit ourselves to the cause of non-proliferation and disarmament, and to the norms and rules which support those endeavours,” says the Prime Minister.

The government is also looking at the early ratification of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which New Zealand signed last year.

Today Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull disagreed:

New Zealand is seeking an early ratification of a United Nations nuclear weapons treaty ban, which Australia has refused to sign.

Mr Turnbull maintains the treaty is flawed because it doesn’t cover the world’s nuclear powers.

He said Australia also relies on the deterrent protection from the United States’ nuclear weapons arsenal.

“Everyone would like to aspire to a world which is free of nuclear weapons but we have to focus on the here and now,” Mr Turnbull said.

And the here and now: Putin unveils new Russian nuclear missile, says it renders defenses ‘useless’

Russia has a new array of nuclear-capable weapons including an intercontinental ballistic missile that renders defense systems “useless,” President Vladimir Putin announced Thursday.

The ICBM has a longer range than any other and can reach almost any target in the world, Putin said in his annual address to lawmakers and political elites.

Other new technologies he highlighted included supersonic missiles and drone submarines that he said cannot be stopped.

“I want to tell all those who have fueled the arms race over the last 15 years, sought to win unilateral advantages over Russia, introduced unlawful sanctions aimed to contain our country’s development … you have failed to contain Russia,” he said.

He accused the West of “ignoring us. Nobody listened to us. Well listen to us now.”

He boasted that Russia’s new ICBM is “powerful and modern and defense systems will not be able to withstand it,” he said. “Missile defenses will be useless against it.”

“We are not going to take anything away from anybody. We have everything we need,” he said. “Russia’s strong military is a guarantor of peace on our planet.”

However, he warned: “Any use of nuclear weapons against Russia or its allies … any kind of attack … will be regarded as a nuclear attack against Russia and in response we will take action instantaneously no matter what the consequences are. Nobody should have any doubt about that.”

America’s nuclear strategy had “raised concerns in Russia,” he said.

Trumps nuclear proclamations have raised concerns in the US and around the world (as will Putin’s):  We need a backup plan for Trump’s nuclear button

For too many Americans, the past year has awoken fears that had faded over the past 30 years. President Donald Trump has threatened to rain “fire and fury” down upon North Korea. He has announced a program to build new and more “usable” nuclear weapons. A recent false alarm in Hawaii of an incoming missile attack sent thousands of families running for cover. Anxieties have risen to the point that a majority of Americans do not trust the president to handle a nuclear crisis.

NBZ:  Putin’s bravado over Russian nukes is emboldened by Trump, analysts say

President Vladimir Putin’s assertion Thursday that Russia is testing a range of new nuclear-powered weaponry reveals a Kremlin that has become increasingly emboldened by the Trump administration and skilled at stoking East-West tensions, analysts say.

“It’s back to the bad old days of Russia trying to claim its glory through having weapons of mass destruction,” said Jeremy Bash, a former chief of staff in the Department of Defense and CIA.

Bash said Putin’s latest campaign to bolster Russia’s military might, announced during his annual state of the nation speech, is loaded with Cold War undertones.

“You see an American foreign policy of weakness about Russia,” he added. “Putin is exploiting that weakness, and he tries to assert strength.”

All this macho bravado might need more than a Vogue puff piece if Ardern is going to stop the world going up in a puff of nuclear smoke.

Leave a comment


  1. Kitty Catkin

     /  March 2, 2018

    Winston Peters in charge of this ? You must be joking. What if he does his signing without reading what he’s signing thing again ?

    • I hear that Mark wasn’t on board with this

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  March 3, 2018

        I cannot see why anyone would not be worried about the fact that for a number of years he signed documents that had wrong information on them. I don’t believe that he was deliberately swindling WINZ, but he kept signing that he was single and lived alone, or however they put it.

        This shows appalling sloppiness. We have probably all made mistakes on forms, but this is one that couldn’t be made unless the person was extremely careless.

  2. David

     /  March 2, 2018

    Putin has an election coming up and he unveils a nuke that changes direction, its a nothing burger because neither Russia or the US are going to lob nukes at each other..nor are any other nuclear armed nation.
    Its political posturing.

    • Gezza

       /  March 2, 2018

      He had some quite good graphics apparently.

    • Fight4NZ

       /  March 3, 2018

      Putin does run a strong and stable government after all so he would “never” do anything stupid.


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