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NZ Parliament and IPU hold security seminar for Pacific

Press Release – Office of the Speaker

This week, the New Zealand Parliament and the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) will jointly host a seminar on tackling the global spread of illicit weapons.This week, the New Zealand Parliament and the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) will jointly host a seminar on tackling the global spread of illicit weapons.

The seminar focuses on implementing United Nations Security Council resolution 1540. This resolution imposes obligations on all states to work proactively to adopt legislation to prevent the proliferation of weapons capable of mass destruction. The seminar is part of the New Zealand Parliament’s capacity building programme with Pacific parliaments, under which knowledge is shared on global and regional issues.

Delegations from Pacific parliaments, joined by experts from the United Nations, the IPU, regional experts in disarmament, and representatives of the diplomatic corps, will gather in Wellington to look at ways to strengthen security frameworks and regional cooperation.

The seminar will be opened by the New Zealand Speaker Rt Hon Trevor Mallard; Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Rt Hon Winston Peters; and special guest, the IPU Honorary President, His Excellency Saber Chowdhury.

“The United Nations’ commitments can impose a significant implementation and compliance load on smaller states. New Zealand has existing partnership work in the Pacific, notably around border security and customs cooperation,” said Mr Speaker.

“I am very pleased we can host this important seminar that will link up Pacific parliamentarians and a range of international agencies working in the disarmament and security space. This is a key way to identify areas of priority and learn more about the regional pressure points in the movement of illicit weapons and other controlled items.”

IPU Secretary General, Martin Chungong, said “As the legislative branch of government is also responsible for oversight and budget allocations, parliaments have a key role to play in supporting the implementation of the resolution. This seminar will facilitate the transfer of knowledge and allow parliamentarians to establish informal networks across borders”.

Following the seminar, the New Zealand Parliament is partnering with the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs to hold a workshop on the Biological Weapons Convention.

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