The
Nuclear-Free Future
Award

in the Category


SOLUTIONS

is presented to

HELEN CLARK

NEW ZEALAND

St. Petersburg
5 Oktober 2002

Helen Clark

Helen Elizabeth Clark was born in Hamilton, New Zealand, in 1950. She attended Epsom Girls Grammar School in Auckland and then studied at Auckland University. She graduated with MA (Hons) in 1974. Her MA and PhD thesis research was on rural political behaviour and representation. She was a junior lecturer in political studies in Auckland from 1973-75, studied abroad on a University Grants Committee post-graduate scholarship in 1976, and then lectured in political studies at Auckland from 1977 until her election to Parliament in 1981. Between 1984 and 1987, Helen Clark was chair of the foreign affairs and defense select committee, an office that allowed her to become the principle architect of New Zealand’s nuclear-free policy. The Bush US administration was so rankled by the policy – New Zealand was the first nation on the face of the earth to declare itself nuclear-free – that in response it downgraded the status of New Zealand from ally to friend.

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Since winning the November 27, 1999 general election, Prime Minister Helen Clark, proud of New Zealand’s “record in the vanguard of the nuclear disarmament movement,” has pledged that her government will continue to forge strong alliances with other non- nuclear states in order to create a world free of nuclear weapons. In her foreword to the book, The Naked Nuclear Emperor, by Robert Green, Helen Clark right honorably writes:

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“We want to build a world based on peaceful relations between peoples achieved through trust and mutual respect rather than suspicion and hostility.”

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“New Zealand has long been at the forefront of international efforts to rid the world of nuclear weapons. We, and the many people, organisations and countries which support this goal, want to build a world based on peaceful relations between peoples achieved through trust and mutual respect rather than suspicion and hostility. The theory of nuclear deterrence (and the aptly acronymed concept of Mutually Assured Destruction) is at odds with these aims.

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“It assumes the worst of other countries, creating an atmosphere in which countries try to match the efforts of others in building and maintaining nuclear arsenals.”

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“There are still many obstacles in the way of nuclear disarmament. The testing of nuclear devices by India and Pakistan in 1998, and the growing evidence of the development of nuclear weapons technology and capability by states like Israel, Iran, Iraq and North Korea are of concern. Russia and the United States between them still have upwards of 30,000 nuclear weapons in various states of readiness. The proposed United States’ strategic defence system has unsettled many.

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“The challenge before us is to debunk the anachronisms that underlie the theory of nuclear deterrence. This book, and fora like the negotiations on the Non Proliferation Treaty, provide avenues for the debate. In the 21st century, as the ever-expanding exchange of peoples, cultures and trade across nations helps to ease nationalistic prejudices, and as the shibboleths of the Cold War subside, it is time to abolish nuclear weapons and make the world a safer place for all peoples.”

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Ms. Clark is the third politician to receive a Nuclear-Free Future Award, after Stewart Udall, former US-Secretary of Interior (1999), and MP Hans-Joseph Fell of Germany (2001).

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–Craig Reishus