International Atomic Energy Agency
Information Circular
(Unofficial electronic edition)
15 February 1996

Original: ENGLISH

Communication of 25 January 1996 Received from the Permanent Mission of New Zealand to the International Atomic Energy Agency

  1. On 26 January 1996, the Director General received a communication of 25 January 1996 from the Resident Representative of New Zealand transmitting a Statement by the Prime Minister of New Zealand concerning the "Fifth French Nuclear Test" in the South Pacific.

  2. As requested by the Resident Representative of New Zealand, the text of the Statement is being circulated for information to Member States of the Agency.

Text of Press Statement by the Prime Minister of New Zealand Concerning the Fifth French Nuclear Test in the South Pacific

"France is its own worst enemy," the Prime Minister said today following news of the fifth French nuclear test in the South Pacific.

"France has defied world opinion, through continued testing. Its reputation in the Pacific is at an all time low" said the Prime Minister. "When the tests are over France will have to rebuild its credentials in the region. It has a long way to go."

The Prime Minister confirmed that the French Ambassador in Wellington will once again be called in to receive a strong protest. "We will remind France that the United Nations General Assembly, in a formal Resolution, has just deplored continued testing, and called for its immediate end. France's actions are unacceptable. This latest test flies in the face of world public opinion which is moving, ever more firmly, towards the view that nuclear weapons should be eliminated."

"I hope this fifth test will be the last" the Prime Minister said. "If France is to rebuild its standing in this part of the world, it must start by announcing the end of its misguided testing programme. I, and all New Zealanders, now call on President Chirac to take that decision, without further delay."