Kiwi MP submits Members Bill calling for depleted uranium ban
Twyford's bill seeks to introduce a general prohibition on the possession, use, sale, manufacture, testing and transit of uranium in all conventional munitions and armour and if passed, would make New Zealand the second or third state in the world to ban the weapons. Two law proposals currently being considered by the Costa Rican parliament are closer to completion.
The law proposal comes after a New Zealand parliamentary committee rejected calls for a moratorium and ban based on the precautionary principle earlier this year. The decision was a disappointing one for campaigners and came in spite of a declaration from the New Zealand military that they would much rather that uranium weapons were not used in conflicts that they were deployed in.
Under New Zealand's parliamentary system, MPs are able to draft and submit law proposals at any time. For one of these proposals - Member's Bills - to proceed further, they must be selected by a ballot that occurs every few weeks. It is into this process that Phil Twyford bill - Depleted Uranium Prohibition Bill has gone. There are typically around 30 bills in the process at any one time so the odds of it being selected are good.
Twyford, who is also the Labour Party's spokesperson on Disarmament & Arms Control and Development Assistance said: "I hope the Green Party and Maori Party will also back it. A bigger challenge will be to persuade the governing centre-right National Party to get behind it."
He continued: "New Zealand has a good history of support for international law and multilateralism, we have bipartisan support for the country's nuclear-free legislation, we were early signatories to the Ottawa land mines treaty, and actively campaigned for the cluster munitions ban. Legislating a ban on depleted uranium would be a logical next step in my view."
- 19 Kb - Format pdfPhil Twyford MPThis Bill seeks to ban the possession, use, sale, manufacture, testing and transit of uranium in all conventional munitions and armour within New Zealand and by agents of the New Zealand Government. To be considered in 2011.