New Zealand’s disarmament minister

New Zealand’s Minister for Disarmament and Arms Control, Hon. Phil Twyford (c) MFAT, August 2021

It’s time to re-activate this Ministry for Disarmament blog. Created in Aotearoa New Zealand in 2011 to draw attention to the country’s Minister for Disarmament and Arms Control, a unique portfolio worldwide that was established in 1987. The blog and associated Twitter account have been kept by Mary Wareham of Human Rights Watch since then.

The concept of humanitarian disarmament is much better understood today than it was ten years ago, as shown by Harvard University’s humanitarian disarmament website, established in 2018. New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Arden reinstated the country’s disarmament portfolio in 2018.

Honorable Phil Twyford has served as Minister for Disarmament and Arms Control since the beginning of 2021, giving more than a dozen speeches New Zealand, talking virtually to foreign ministers and high-level UN officials as well as in-person with a diverse range of Kiwis, and holding events to bring attention to this portfolio. Check out the government’s disarmament strategy and infographic for 2020-2021 which the Minister presented to parliamentary Select Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence, and Trade in June 2021.

As part of the strategy, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade has embarked on a consultation process to collect feedback on the strategy as a whole including perspectives on concerns over autonomous weapons and proposals for regulation.

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