Act now! Minister for Disarmament and Arms Control disestablished

December 14, 2011 at 2:44pm

 

 

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This action alert has information about the disestablishment of the position of Minister for Disarmament and Arms Control, and a section with contact details for relevant politicians if you would like to take action on it.

 

 

It appears that the National-led government has disestablished the position of Minister for Disarmament and Arms Control as the Ministerial list released on Monday does not include this. It further seems that the portfolio itself has gone, as there is a footnote linked to 'Minister of Foreign Affairs' which reads: "The Foreign Affairs portfolio incorporates the responsibilities formerly included in the Disarmament and Arms Control portfolio." - http://www.beehive.govt.nz/sites/all/files/Ministerial_List_12_December-2011.pdf<p> </p><p> </p>The Aotearoa New Zealand Cluster Munition Coalition (ANZCMC) has written a letter to Murray McCully that, among other things, expresses deep disappointment about this, see 'New Zealand scraps its disarmament minister' at http://www.stopclusterbombs.org.nz/2011/12/13/new-zealand-scraps-disarmament-minister/<p> </p><p> </p>Aside from the general undesirability of the Ministerial position going, it also raises an interesting question about whether the NZ Nuclear Free Zone, Disarmament, and Arms Control Act 1987 should have been amended in advance of this move. Although the Act did not set up the Ministerial position, it does refer to the Minister as the Chairman [sic] of PACDAC - "18 Membership of Committee. (1) The Committee shall consist of 9 members, of whom - (a) one shall be the Minister for Disarmament and Arms Control, who shall be the Chairman". - http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1987/0086/latest/096be8ed8075a0e2.pdf

 

 

There is of course a further question as to whether PACDAC can now operate legally in the absence of a Chairperson.

 

 

In addition, the Green party also seems to have disestablished their disarmament and arms control portfolio, see http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1112/S00098/greens-release-mp-portfolios-for-50th-parliament.htm Although Kennedy Graham has responded to a question from the ANZCMC by saying it is included in his new Global Affairs portfolio, his blog 'The Global Affairs Portfolio: Setting the Foreign Policy Agenda' makes no mention of disarmament, see http://blog.greens.org.nz/2011/12/15/the-global-affairs-portfolio-setting-the-foreign-policy-agenda/<p> </p><p> </p>The only hope now is that the Labour Party will keep a shadow disarmament and arms control portfolio, otherwise it will be gone completely ...

 

 

* What you can do about this<p> </p><p> </p>If you would like to take action on this, please contact the government to urge them to re-establish the disarmament and arms control portfolio as a separate entity with its own Minister; the Labour Party to urge them to ensure they continue to have a disarmament and arms control portfolio; and the Green Party to urge them to re-establish a clear disarmament and arms control portfolio.

 

 

* Contact details<p> </p><p> </p>You can write to all of the politicians below at Freepost Parliament, Private Bag 18 888, Parliament Buildings, Wellington 6160 (no stamp required).

 

 

- Government / National Party: Prime Minister, John Key, email j.key@ministers.govt.nz and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Murray McCully, email m.mccully@ministers.govt.nz

 

 

- Labour Party: Leader, David Shearer, email david.shearer@parliament.govt.nz and Co-Leader, Grant Robertson, email Grant.Robertson@parliament.govt.nz

 

 

- Green Party: Co-Leaders Russell Norman, email russel.norman@parliament.govt.nz and Metiria Turei, email metiria.turei@parliament.govt.nz Global Affairs spokesperson, Kennedy Graham, email kennedy.graham@parliament.govt.nz

 

 

It would be really helpful if you can send us a copy of any letter or message you send about this, and of any replies you receive, to assist with our work on it - by email pma@xtra.co.nz or by post to Peace Movement Aotearoa, PO Box 9314, Wellington 6141, thank you.