Austria and New Zealand may be far apart geographically, but we are connected by shared values and principles.

Particularly relevant today is our longstanding opposition to nuclear weapons and our shared concern about the lack of progress on nuclear disarmament.

While the threat of nuclear weapons never went away after the end of the Cold War, steep cuts to nuclear stockpiles in the early 1990s represented progress. But the trend toward disarmament stalled. Three decades on, nine nuclear-armed states possess some 13,000 nuclear warheads, and, far from phasing out their arsenals, these states are modernizing and expanding them. The risks of nuclear escalation, miscalculation and accident are mounting, even though we have a better understanding than ever of the catastrophic consequences that would follow from the use of nuclear weapons.