Roche Addresses Irish Foreign Affairs Committee; Meets With President Higgins

The Acting Chairman of the Middle Powers Initiative, Senator Douglas Roche, addressing the Irish Joint Foreign Affairs Committee March 1, 2012, said his work for nuclear disarmament is inspired by the Hon. Michael D. Higgins, the new President of Ireland, who said in 2010: "The aspiration for a nuclear-weapons-free world contained in the NPT needs to be translated into reality with the emergence of a Nuclear Weapons Convention." Senator Roche told the Committee: "Having voted at the UN for such negotiations to start, Ireland, with its long record of involvement in nuclear disarmament issues, is excellently placed to give leadership to the new, active work to lay the groundwork for a global ban on nuclear weapons. From its pivotal position in Europe, Ireland can help lead the way to a safer world."

Senator Roche presented a copy of his recent book, How We Stopped Loving the Bomb, to President Higgins at an afternoon tea in the President's residence, Dublin (photo). Roche discussed with President Higgins how Ireland can help send a message to the world: "We must refuse to wait until a nuclear weapons attack obliterates a city before starting negotiations for the elimination of nuclear weapons."