International Atomic Energy Agency
(Unofficial electronic edition)
19 January 1996
22 November 1995
French Test Condemned
Exasperated disgust was Acting Prime Minister Don McKinnon's reaction to the news of this morning's nuclear test in French Polynesia.
"It is utterly disappointing and extremely frustrating that France in the face of so much international opposition should persist with these tests. We deplore this latest blast.
"It sends precisely the wrong signal to a world weary of the arms race and of the spread of nuclear weapons.
"France has announced its intention to sign on to the Treaty of Rarotonga banning testing in our region and we welcome that unreservedly.
"But they are now negating the effect of that decision by persisting with this test series.
"I call again on President Chirac to rethink his commitment to this test series and to put and end to it right now.
"He must be aware of the harm being done to France's standing in the world. This has been clearly signalled at a number of meetings including the Auckland CHOGM, the South Pacific Forum, and most recently at the United Nations General Assembly," Mr McKinnon said.
Mr McKinnon stressed New Zealand would continue to express its opposition to France's policy
"It is instructive that so may of France's closest neighbours have reacted with equal vigour and disgust to the tests. This was very much in evidence at the recent UN vote on nuclear testing.
"I have delivered a short and sharp message to Ambassador Le Blanc. France is being left in absolutely no doubt about the strength of New Zealand feelings at its actions", Mr McKinnon concluded.
Today's test, at Mururoa, was around 15 kt and is the fourth in the current series.