Minister of State Roche welcomes delegates to Middle Powers Initiative meeting on Nuclear Disarmament in Dublin
The Minister of State for European Affairs, Dick Roche T.D, welcomed over 70 distinguished delegates, including Baroness Shirley Williams and the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament, Sergio Duarte, to Iveagh House yesterday evening. The delegates were attending the Middle Powers Initiative conference on nuclear disarmament, which is being held in Dublin Castle from 27-28 March 2008.
Speaking at a reception which he hosted on behalf of the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dermot Ahern TD, he told the delegates that the Government remained “strongly committed to the goal of universal nuclear disarmament and is determined to work with likeminded states, the Middle Powers Initiative and others to achieve this aim”
Minister of State Roche said that he believed that “an important message from today’s meeting was that, although we face many challenges, there is now a sense that a real opportunity exists to advance the disarmament agenda”
He went on to say that Ireland was “very pleased to host this important forum in Dublin, which will focus the minds of Governments, civil society and the wider public on the threats posed by nuclear weapons and the need for urgent action on disarmament and non-proliferation”.
Note to Editors:
The Middle Powers Initiative is an initiative by eight international NGOs, working with "middle power" governments, to encourage and educate the nuclear weapons states to take immediate practical steps to reduce nuclear dangers and commence negotiations to eliminate nuclear weapons. The Article VI Forum takes its name from the article of the NPT in which the nuclear states commit themselves to the elimination of their nuclear weapons intended to stimulate and shape effective responses to the crisis of the disarmament and non-proliferation regime manifested by the breakdown of the 2005 NPT Review Conference. It has become an annual event with the two-day meeting in Dublin Castle on Thursday and Friday the fifth since 2006. Seventy senior personalities and Government and international officials attended, including Baroness Shirley Williams and UN Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Sergio Duarte. The value of the Forum lies in its contribution to focusing the attention of Governments, civil society and the wider public on the threat and key challenges posed by the continued existence of nuclear weapons. Further information on this initiative can be found on www.middlepowers.org.
The meeting was addressed by Minister for Foreign Affairs Dermot Ahern TD at its opening session on 27 March, as well as hearing a keynote speech from Baroness Williams.
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