Bob Rigg is a New Zealander, with a wealth of experience on matters related to Disarmament. He was senior editor with the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in The Hague (1993-2002), and chaired the NZ National Consultative Committee on Disarmament (2003-2005). He has published a wide range of Papers on issues pertaining to chemical weapons, nuclear weapons, nuclear disarmament, the Middle East, and Afghanistan. He chaired one of three panels at the recent Tehran International Disarmament Conference, on the subject of "Disarmament challenges".
Throughout this week Christchurch is hosting a meeting of a little known entity called the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). As many as 46 states will be represented at the meeting, which will be chaired by the New Zealand government, in response to a personal invitation from President Obama to Prime Minister John Key.
The NSG was established by the US government in 1974, in response to India’s detonation of a nuclear device, with the stated aim of ensuring “that nuclear trade for peaceful purposes does not contribute to the proliferation of nuclear weapons or other explosive devices.” Unsurprisingly, Pakistan followed India’s example. India’s nuclear programme was supported by Canada and the US, while Pakistan received assistance from China. The NSG was an informal US initiative enlisting support from a small and unrepresentative group of nuclear weapons states and developed nations.