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News from the office
Kia ora, the level of activity in the office has been rather more frantic than usual these past couple of months as we have been focussed on networking and preparations for the United Nations Asia-Pacific Regional Conference which will be held in Wellington from 27 to 30 March.
As a consequence of this, we have fallen somewhat behind in our usual day to day work, so apologies if you are still waiting for a reply to an email message or letter sent to us - we will be working through the backlog as soon as we can.
This newsletter includes the programme of alternative and NGO events happening around the UN Conference.
Also included in this mailing are the PMA membership and mailing list renewal forms for 2000-01. The forms are colour coded as follows: individuals, yellow; groups, blue; PMA pledgers, pink. If we’ve sent you the wrong form, apologies, and if you write a note to that effect when you return it to us, we’ll update our database accordingly.
When you return your renewal form, please, if you can, include a generous donation - both our work output and our costs increase each year! Our financial reserves remain extremely low, and your help to give them a boost is essential. Any amount you give above $5 is eligible for a tax rebate, and you will be sent a tax receipt so you can claim it. This is a practical way of diverting government funds from military to peace spending, the PMA peace tax!
Thanks to all who have contributed to our work since the last newsletter; especially our regular volunteer workers - Deborah, Jesse (enticed away by paid work), Jie (now gone to study full time), Catherine and Abigael; and welcome to Wai Teng, Ying and the PeacePacific gang.
NGO meetings and seminars in three cities from 21 to 30 March
good things happening in four cities from 10 to 31 March
Wellington City Council's planned outdoor welcome for two visiting French warships was cancelled because of the presence of protesters from PeaceNetwork, Omomo Melen Pacific, NZ University Students Association, PMA and Christian World Service.
WCC initially set up their speakers stand and sound system in Civic Square, under strings of red, white and blue flags. As protesters started arriving, the outdoor ceremony was hastily abandoned, and instead moved into the gloomy dark interior of the old Town Hall!
Led by a naval band, squads of French sailors decked out in white uniforms marched directly in front of the protesters and were greeted with chants of "shame shame shame" (in time to their marching beat), "decolonise Kanaky and Tahiti Polynesia", and "demilitarise the Pacific" as they approached, and later left, the Town Hall.
For the PMA Alert on the warships visit which outlines the reasons for the protest, and for more photos, check out http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/nfrench.htm.
Two French airforce planes, taking part in Operation Tasmanex, were based at Whenuapai in early March.
Postscript: as a result of the press coverage of this protest, we were contacted by Jo Vallentine (People for Nuclear Disarmament, Perth) and the Australian Peace Committee (South Australia) with news that a French nuclear submarine was about to engage in 'exercise opportunities’ with the Australian navy and would visit Perth from 6 March. Poor them! Planned protests included ‘Guillotine the Submarine’ - peacefully of course ...
Nuclear shipments through the Pacific
Plutonium is a highly toxic radioactive material which emits alpha radiation and has a half-life of 24,000 years. The MOX on board the Pacific Pintail is believed to contain at least 230 kilos of plutonium. The Pacific Pintail is accompanied by the Pacific Teal which is acting as armed escort on the outward journey.
Prior to this journey, British Nuclear Fuels Ltd (BNFL) sent company representatives here to assure us all that the shipments are perfectly safe. The debate around whether or not the shipments are actually safe is unlikely to be definitively resolved either way - unless there is an accident.
There is absolutely no reason to trust the assurances of any representative of the nuclear industry. It is an industry which has consistently lied and manipulated information about safety issues, and the consequences of the various accidents and disasters, which have occurred at all stages of the nuclear fuel process - uranium mining, processing plants, operation of nuclear power stations and processing plants, and the transportation and storage of nuclear waste.
And amongst all the misinformation, perhaps BNFL are the most notorious liars; not only on public and worker safety issues, but as you may recall, even on quality assurance standards for their customers - agreement has only now been reached to return the dodgy shipment of MOX, which BNFL sent to Japan two years ago with false documentation, back to Britain.
It is also interesting that the three governments involved, Japan, Britain and France, are not prepared to accept full liability in the event of any accident - reason alone to doubt their ‘safety’ assurances.
Even if these shipments could be proved to be safe, there are other matters to be taken into consideration. Pacific peoples have had enough of being used as guinea pigs in the nuclear weapons states ‘testing’ programmes. The insane pursuit of nuclear weapons supremacy has polluted and contaminated the land and sea; had fatal health consequences for Pacific peoples; and created genetic harm which will affect future generations. The linkages between the nuclear power industry and the production of nuclear weapons are clear; and the message from Pacific peoples is clear too - the Pacific must be denuclearised, and the nuclear shipments stopped.
For more information you can check out the nuclear shipments index page on the PMA website, http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/nwastei.htm
Nuclear Free Tasman Sea Flotilla 2001: seven yachts from Aotearoa and Australia are involved in the Flotilla which gathered near Lord Howe and Norfolk Islands to form a symbolic chain across the route of the Pacific Pintail and Pacific Teal. The purpose of the Flotilla is to protest at the use of the Tasman Sea as a nuclear highway for plutonium shipments.
On 6 March, as the Pacific Pintail and Pacific Teal approached the area where the flotilla was waiting, they increased speed and changed course to avoid the area. The flotilla crews sent radio messages of opposition to the British ships.
The Tasman flotilla has a website with photos, and a diary section, at http://www.nuclearfree.co.nz/
Nuclear Free Flotilla in Suva: a nuclear-free flotilla including canoes, and assorted other boats, crewed by around 100 people sailed in and around Suva Harbour on 10 March. The flotilla was in support of the Tasman flotilla, and to call for an immediate end to nuclear shipments through the Pacific.
Camilla Solomon (Nauru High Commissioner) spoke at a gathering at the Suva Yacht Club to remind people that the nuclear issue is not a trivial one, that the Pacific should not be used as a nuclear highway, and that the island nations of the Pacific depend on the sea for their livelihood. "We cannot afford to be complacent over the issue of plutonium shipments through our waters. Our voice and our actions must make up for our small size." (Pacifik Nius, 11-03-01).
The NZ government’s position on the nuclear shipments half meets Camilla Solomon’s requirements - their voice is heard on this matter. Phil Goff‘s statement (18 January) said that "NZ and other Pacific states do not want these shipments coming through the Pacific region. "The South Pacific prides itself on its nuclear-free status" ... and ... "The overwhelming public support for our anti-nuclear laws illustrates the extent to which New Zealanders want nothing to do with these dangerous cargoes."
Really? Yet the government’s actions do not match their words - there is still no indication that the government will move to support the NZNFZE Bill and pass it into law.
The Bill is still at Select Committee stage. The deadline for written submissions was 15 February, but you may still be able to put in a new submission, or add to your existing one, if you contact David Sanders (Clerk of the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee) and discuss the possibilities with him - you can phone him via the switchboard at (04) 471 9999, or fax (04) 499 0486. For more info on the submissions, check out http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/subnfz.htm
It is likely that the Select Committee will begin hearing submissions on the Bill in the last week of March, taking advantage of the presence of overseas people here for the UN Conference. It is not clear at this point when the hearings for local people will be; nor if they intend actually progressing the Bill, or are instead going to leave it perpetually in Select Committee limbo.
'The nuclear tests have not provoked any destabilisation of the volcanic base of the atolls, but have caused two recent phenomena on the coral crown - the subsidence of the surface and an acceleration of the natural movement towards the ocean of certain external carbonates in the north east zone’ (Les Nouvelles de Tahiti, 26 January 2001) - this recent statement by a spokesperson for the French Departement de Suivi des Centres d’Experimentations Nucleaires (DSCEN) was included in a detailed report from Nic Maclellan in Pacific News Bulletin, February 2001. It was picked up in recent weeks by the NZ mass media; and led to a statement from Matt Robson on 1 March in which he said "The latest French admission is a vindication of our ongoing concerns about the testing programme".
The DSCEN statement comes as no surprise to those groups and individuals who have said for years that Moruroa is at risk of collapse. Between 1966 and 1996, the French government detonated 178 nuclear weapons devices at Moruroa and Fangataufa - 137 of these were underground explosions in bore holes drilled into Moruroa atoll. If the atoll does collapse, it will dramatically increase the risk of significant radioactive contamination being released into the Pacific as sea water floods the bore holes and ‘test’ chambers; and may trigger a tsunami which could inundate low lying Pacific islands and coastal areas.
Because of the secrecy surrounding the French nuclear weapons tests, and their effects on the environment and health of Pacific people, it is difficult to decide exactly how significant the DSCEN statement is. The following summary is based on information from past editions of Pacific News Bulletin; and from an extremely helpful review of the situation by Nic Maclellan in response to our request for more information.
For many years the French government denied that there was any damage to Moruroa and Fangataufa - either to the volcanic base of the atolls, or to the coral crown. This despite the photographic evidence and workers testimonies that there had been cracking of the coral; even the 1984 Atkinson report talked of 'fissures, subsidences and slides'.
The 1988 Cousteau report noted underwater subsidence, fissuring and cracks, especially after the 1979 test that caused a massive tidal wave when thousands of tons of coral broke away. There are plenty of photos of the concrete walls built to prevent storm surges from flooding parts of Moruroa where the platier (dead coral mass) has subsided. Yet as recently as 1995, the French government threatened to sue Le Monde in Paris when it reprinted a map leaked by CFDT trade unionists, which marked various cracks and fissures on Moruroa.
The turning point was the IAEA report, conducted by an international advisory committee and released in mid-1998. The French government has had a propaganda field day with the report, using quotes from the Executive summary to suggest that Moruroa is 'safe'. The IAEA summary report even went so far as to say that there was no need for monitoring of the atolls, which was too embarrassing even for the French to contemplate!
However, there are a number of serious qualifications of the 'safe' verdict, a number of questions that were never asked, and a number of predictions that explicitly call for further studies - for example, the IAEA report acknowledges that there are 5 kilos of plutonium dispersed in the sediments of Moruroa lagoon. The Executive Summary says that this is not of radiological significance, but one of the experts in volume 6 raises questions about what will happen if sea level rise or storm surges disperses the sediments etc.
Since then, the French Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) has continued with monitoring - a CEA team went to Moruroa in April and May 1999, and at the time, the head of the CEA Rene Pellat acknowledged that fractures had been found in the coral cones of the atolls. In January 2000, Admiral Jean Moulin (commander of French forces in Polynesia) acknowledged this again, saying: "The situation is uncertain for twenty years to come". He posed two scenarios: "Either a collapse of the exterior coral cliffs with the risk of creating a tsunami tidal wave on the atoll, or an internal consolidation with the disappearance of the cracks" (Pacific News Bulletin, January 2000).
When the French authorities have referred to damage such as cracking, they have - and continue to - emphasise that the cracking is in the coral crown, and not in the basalt core.
How to interpret all this? It is likely that the latest statements are to soften up public opinion and that there are more serious geological faults which have not yet been publicly acknowledged. The French government thinks it won a victory in the propaganda war with the IAEA report, and that with the end of nuclear testing, no one cares any more. They must be made aware that people DO care what happens in the Pacific; and that the French government is entirely responsible for past, present and future health and environment problems caused by their nuclear weapons testing programme.
French vulcanologists like Pierre Vincent have long predicted problems with endo-upwelling and emphasised the need for long term monitoring and management of the atolls. Some Green Party MPs in Paris have been lobbying to have them declared as 'nuclear installations' so that they would come under French law covering protection and monitoring of radioactive wastes - even the IAEA report admits that the French dumped plutonium as well as low level nuclear waste in two test shafts before sealing them during the 1996-98 dismantling of Moruroa.
What now? We will continue to follow the reports about this situation; and will circulate new information as it comes in via our e-lists and future newsletters, together with suggestions of what you can do about it.
Note: if you quote from or reproduce this report, please make sure you credit it as based on information from Nic Maclellan. Any errors are ours.
In May the government is expected to announce decisions about the future of the airforce’s Orion surveillance planes and Skyhawk warplanes (currently grounded because of fuel costs); and, having ruled out a third new frigate, what the navy might instead be getting.
There are all sorts of Opinions and Letters to the Editor circulating in the mass media about these decisions, some entertaining, others confusing and others worrying. Few spotted so far promote a positive peaceful approach.
Current favourite in the entertaining section was a letter in The Dominion, 15 March, which included the following: "Our prime minister must surely be lacking in statesmanship if she is happy to scrap our ability to defend ourselves and to do our bit towards regional security and stability."
The confusing section includes misleading statements - such as the Opinion, NZ Herald, 9 March 2001, which refers to Australia and the United States as 'our two major allies’. It has to be said this is an easy mistake to make - recent NZ governments have indeed supported US cruise missile diplomacy and military aggression against various civilians around the world, to the extent that one might indeed think they are ‘our’ allies - but they are not. (It remains to be seen whether the current government is capable of putting this distinction into practice.)
The worrying section includes all the militaristic scare mongering statements which have been printed and spoken in all the mass media outlets ... just because a hostile submarine hasn’t been detected in NZ waters in 50 years, doesn’t mean they won’t in the future; just because the Skyhawks (thankfully) haven’t been used in warfare in the past 35 years doesn’t mean we won’t want to attack someone in the future; and how about the Indonesian / Chinese / whoever hordes who are about to descend on us.
Major General Piers Reid (former army chief of staff) has said the government’s likely announcements in May are progressive and on the right track. However this seems to be because he believes the army should be given more resources.
It’s all very depressing - none of the mainstream media commentators are even suggesting that there may be more useful positive things this country could contribute to regional and global security rather than armed forces.
We understand the RSA and NZ Defence Forces have mobilised their supporters into letter writing action - so if you are in favour of anything which reduces the attack capacity of the airforce and navy, which decreases the likelihood of NZ armed forces being involved in joint US/British attacks against their current enemies, and which increases the chance of resources being diverted into peacefully resolving conflict - then you need to make your voice publicly heard.
Write to your local paper and the nationally distributed press (contact lists are available from PMA); ring your local talk back show; write to your local MP and write or fax the following politicians too: Helen Clark, PM, fax (04) 473 3579; Jim Anderton, Deputy PM, fax (04) 495 8441; Mark Burton, Minister of Defence, fax (04) 495 8465.
Please also send a copy of your correspondence to Matt Robson, Minister for Disarmament and Arms Control, fax (04) 495 8462; Keith Locke, Green Party Spokesperson for Defence, fax (04) 472 6003; and a copy of your correspondence and of any replies to PMA for our files. Letters to all MPs should be addressed to the relevant person and posted (no stamp needed) to Parliament Buildings, Wellington. And keep writing until May!
For more information, you could refer to the alerts listed at http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/milspend.htm, and to past PMA newsletters, especially Sept/Oct 1988 which is available at http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/oct98.htm
One positive contribution the NZ government could make to regional peace and security is to support the establishment of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission as requested in the media statement from Bougainville Women for Peace and Freedom/Bougainville Freedom Movement (11 February 2001) below. The statement also calls for Pacific governments to put pressure on the PNG government to establish a Human Rights Commission and to sign up to the International Criminal Court. For suggestions as to what you can do to help progress these matters, see the end of the next column.
The Bougainville Women for Peace and Freedom (BWPF) and Bougainville Freedom Movement, Sydney (BFM) attending the United Nations Conference Women Wise Up called for a Human Rights Commission (HRC) to be established by the PNG Government immediately.
They have told the conference that war crimes from the Papua New Guinea military and rapists, during the 10-year war in Bougainville must be addressed, as a matter of urgency. They have no other mechanism (such as an International Criminal Court) where these concerns could be heard. Some of these soldiers are still stationed in Bougainville or roaming the streets of Port Moresby, as free men.
"It is clear that the PNG military used repeated raping of Bougainville women and girls as a weapon of war. These women are still suffering deep wounds from such human rights violations and inhuman treatment. Hundreds of children have been born by Bougainville women from calculated acts of war rapes. Whilst our women will always love these babies, the Papua New Guinea State stands accused by such acts of their soldiers", Kuntamari Crofts, member of the Bougainville team told the conference.
"When the Papua New Guinea soldiers raped our women, they often inserted instruments such coffee cup handles into them. They also pumped engine grease into some women they raped. Two such young girls from Buka Island were rushed to Rabaul but one of them died in the process. When they seduced young Buka girls, they were often subjected to pack rape. They also introduced prostitution in Bougainville something unheard of in our region. The BWPF is now writing a book where more of these stories will be told as a healing process to our Bougainville women", said Marilyn Havini.
"There is no mechanism in Papua New Guinea such as a Human Rights Commission, where not only the women and people of Bougainville can report human rights abuses, but also the women and the ordinary people of Papua New Guinea. The women of Bougainville join the United Nations, the Government of Australia and the region in calling and urging the government of Papua New Guinea to establish its Human Rights Commission as soon as possible", urged Marilyn Havini.
"It is understood that even Australian Aid Agency, AusAid had offered funding to establish a Human Rights Commission in Papua New Guinea. We encourage the PNG Government to take this offer and create such a body immediately".
"The Women’s Platform for Action addressed at this Women Wise UP conference emphasises the urgency for nations to sign on at the United Nations for an International Criminal Court (ICC). Sixty nations have to sign on for an international court to be established. Australia, Samoa and other pacific countries have signed but not Papua New Guinea. Because of this the people of Bougainville have no where in the whole world to look for protection of their human rights".
"Currently a regional Peace Monitoring Group is monitoring a Cease-fire, which is a temporary measure until a resolution to the conflict is achieved. Australia funds this and is already looking at how soon to dismantle the peace Monitoring Group in Bougainville. We women are asking what happens to us then? We urgently need the international community to assist us in setting up a Truth and Reconciliation Commission: before Australia withdraws the PMG from Bougainville," concluded Marilyn Havini.
This statement from the Bougainville women is very timely given the first convictions by the International Criminal Tribunal on Former Yugoslavia, on 22 and 26 February 2001, of men charged with rape and sexual enslavement as a war crime and crime against humanity.
The ICTFY found Dragoljub Kunarac, Rodomir Kovac and Zoran Vukovic guilty on the following counts: Kunarac and Vukovic - guilty of: torture as a crime against humanity; rape as a crime against humanity; torture as a violation of the laws or customs of war; rape as a violation of the laws or customs of war, and other charges. Kovac - guilty of the above charges, and of outrages upon personal dignity as a violation of the laws or customs of war.
Trial Chamber II found that rape was ... "used by members of the Bosnian Serb armed forces as an instrument of terror.'
Rape is always an instrument of terror - whether perpetrated by military personnel or civilians, in societies at peace or at war. It’s taken long enough, but at least now this has been established in international law.
What you can do:
i) Bougainville: use the information in the two articles on this page and write to NZ politicians urging them to support the calls from the Bougainville women - to assist (with funding) the establishment of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission; to put pressure on the PNG government to establish a Human Rights Commission (to assist this with funding and advice if required) and to sign up to the International Criminal Court.
As well as contacting your own MP about this, it is particularly important to write or fax: Helen Clark, PM, fax (04) 473 3579; Phil Goff, Minister of Foreign Affairs, fax (04) 495 8444; Matt Robson, Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs, fax (04) 495 8462; and send a copy of your correspondence to Keith Locke, Green Party Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs, fax 472 6003. Letters should be addressed to the relevant person and posted (no stamp needed) to Parliament Buildings, Wellington.
Please make sure you send copies of your correspondence, and especially of any replies you receive, to PMA so we can keep you all updated on this.
If you require more information about Bougainville, check out http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/bouga.htm
ii) NZ armed forces response to the ICTFY convictions: you could contact Mark Burton, Minister of Defence, and Helen Clark and ask them: a) if the NZ Defence Force has been provided with information about the ICTFY rulings and the implications for the conduct of armed forces personnel; and b) what training is provided within the armed forces with regard to the prevention of sexual harassment and violence.
You can write to either at Parliament Buildings, Wellington (no stamp needed) or fax Helen Clark at (04) 473 3579; and Mark Burton at (04) 495 8465.
Please forward copies of any replies you receive to PMA - we have recently received information about the US and British armed forces training to prevent sexual harassment and violence, and are planning to compare this with the NZDF material in the near future.
There was international outrage at the new-US-president-proving-he’s-a-man bombing of Baghdad on 17 February. There were protests around the world, including several large demonstrations outside the US Consulate in Auckland, by people who have had enough of the constant US/British missile and bomb attacks on the people of Iraq.
Protests came too from most governments around the world - with the exception of Australia and Israel who supported the bombing.
The NZ government reaction was something of a shambles. Matt Robson issued a media statement pointing out that the bombing was "a setback for world peace initiatives and the moves to lift the sanctions against Iraq" and "It should not go unnoticed that this attack comes at a time when both [the US and Britain] are under siege for the use of depleted uranium munitions, both against Iraq and in the Balkans."
"In every sense it is an arrogant use of power." and "With heightened tensions in Israel, the last thing the world needs is an intensification of conflict in the Gulf." He also described the attack as motivated by the US desire to create a climate for pushing through their Star Wars programme.
While peace people hastened to congratulate him on the first sensible government statement about Iraq since 1990, and Keith Locke issued a statement in support of Matt’s statement, Helen Clark and Phil Goff were not so pleased. Although Phil Goff’s statement (also on 18 February) is kind of critical of the bombing, and does not support it; the NZ Herald (20 February) reported that "NZ’s official line now is to reserve judgement on the air strikes pending more information from the United States and Britain on why they were necessary."
According to that same report, Helen Clark "reprimanded Matt Robson for unilaterally condemning American and British air strikes against Iraq without consulting Foreign Minister Phil Goff." It should be noted that Matt Robson issued his statement as Minister for Disarmament and Arms Control, not as Associate Minister for Foreign Affairs.
We understand from our own sources that aside from the issue of government ministers acting on their consciences without Helen Clark’s approval, that Foreign Affairs have a problem with the use of words such as 'arrogant’ to describe the actions of other governments. Perhaps Matt should have used ‘warmongering’, ‘murdering’ or ‘homicidal’ instead - well, maybe not the latter, it starts with ‘h’.
US Embassy, Wellington: 10th anniversary of the Gulf War protest, organised by Catholic Worker Christchurch, with support from PMA and Wellington peace groups.
Sanctions Update: the international pressure on the US and British governments to agree to the lifting of the genocidal sanctions is intensifying, but it is not clear what effect this might have. PMA member Austin Whitten is currently trying to get NZ government support for a sanctions-busting shipment or plane load of medical and other humanitarian supplies to be sent to Iraq (more on that in the next newsletter).
Hans von Sponeck (former UN Humanitarian Co-ordinator for Iraq) published a letter to the British government in the Guardian (4 January 2001) - refuting point by point all their justifications for the sanctions. It is listed on the Iraq index at http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/iraqa.htm and is listed on the resource order form with this mailing.
Depleted Uranium - also in the next newsletter, an update on the situation re DU ammunition. In the meantime, new information is uploaded regularly to the DU index page at http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/du.htm
UN Asia-Pacific Regional Disarmament Conference
If you are planning on coming to Wellington for any of these events, WILPF (Aotearoa) is arranging accommodation on Tapu Te Ranga marae. We are confirming bookings with the marae this week, so you will need to let us know immediately if you wish to stay there. Booking forms for accommodation are available by email from email@example.com or tel (04) 382 8129, or http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/marae.htm
We are very pleased to tell you that PMA, with the assistance of a generous travel fund from Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand, is bringing Losena Tubanavau-Salabula here for the PeacePacific and other NGO events:
Losena has been an Assistant Director at the PCRC since 1994, working on demilitarisation. This position includes campaigning, lobbying and advocacy work.
Losena’s current work focus is based on the resolutions of the 8th NFIP Conference and include: the Kwajalein missile range and the US National Missile Defence System; the growing militarisation in the Pacific, in particular internal militarisation; media coverage of Pacific militarisation; the Johnston Atoll Chemical Weapons Disposal Facility; strengthening the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone Treaty; the aftermath of nuclear weapons testing and nuclear waste dumping; the plight of the Fiji nuclear test veterans; the impact of increasing Japanese militarism on the Pacific; and opposition to the deployment of the W-88 nuclear warhead in the Pacific.
The NCCD, and a private donor, are bringing Associate Professor Michael Hamel Green of Victoria University, Melbourne, here for the NGO Seminar in Wellington on 29 March. Michael has specialised knowledge about the Rarotonga Treaty, nuclear weapons free zones, and is author of The South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone Treaty: a critical Assessment (Peace Research Centre, Australian National University, 1990).
In addition, two Pacific participants in the UN Conference will speak at NGO events (depending on their flight times which the UN has not yet confirmed). They are: Hilda Lini, from Vanuatu, who is currently Director of the PCRC, who is a founding member of the NFIP movement, and was involved in the World Court Project through the World Health Assembly; and Moses Havini, International Representative of the Bougainville People’s Congress, also active in the NFIP movement.
Judge Christopher Weeramantry, Sri Lanka, who gave the dissenting opinion following the International Court of Justice deliberations on the legality of nuclear weapons, and who argued for the supremacy of humanitarian law over any other considerations, will also be at the UN Conference and a speaker at NGO meetings. In his dissent, Weeramantry stated "A global regime which makes safety the result of terror and can speak of survival and annihilation as twin alternatives, makes peace and the human future dependent upon terror. This is not a basis for world order which this Court can endorse."
Senator Douglas Roche, former Canadian Ambassador for Disarmament and Chairman of the Middle Powers Initiative will also be speaking at NGO events.
PeacePacific started in Wellington / Whanganui ä Tara on 10 March with PeacePacific at the Fringe Session. About 100 young people braved the arctic weather conditions in Chaffers Park as a cold southerly gale blasted its way through the city. The celebration of youth culture and music included street theatre, break dancing, turntablists, DJs, graffiti art displays, hack sac, caporeira, and the PeacePacific information stall - complete with logs and rocks to prevent leaflets being re-distributed northwards !
The line up included The Black Seeds, The Dance Hall Dons, MC Rizzler, MC Mana, The Nomad, Paselode, Function and Fidget.
PeacePacific at the Fringe Session was organised in association with Radioactive and Fuse Rangatahi Trust.
Peaceful paradise or militarised, nuclearised nightmare ? Wellington PeacePacific people pin the bombs, nuclear explosions, military bases, electronic spy bases, uranium mines, and colonisers’ crowns etc on the ‘Pacific’, 10 March.
PeacePacific: 22 to 30 March
The PeacePacific programme has been put together by people from PeaceNetwork and the Peace Foundation. PeaceNetwork is Peace Movement Aotearoa’s youth network.
PeacePacific has received support from: RadioActive, Fuse Rangatahi Trust, Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand, Peace Movement Aotearoa, PeaceNetwork, Peace Foundation, Women Educating Against Violence, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, International Security and Arms Control division (Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade), and Abolition 2000 (Wellington).
Manukau: Thursday, 22 March
PeacePacific Lunchtime Forum - an opportunity to meet with Pacific peace people and discuss Pacific peace issues, 12 noon, Kete Wänanga Marae, North Campus, Manukau Institute of Technology.
PeacePacific: Putting the Peace back in 'Pacific' - evening of inspiring speakers, performers and DJs, featuring Henzart and Paddy, 8pm til late, Khuja Lounge, 536 Queen St.
In the week before the UN Conference, listen out for interviews on bFM and Mai FM.
Regional PeacePacific contact for Manukau and Auckland / Tamaki Makaurau contact is Jen tel 021 110 0799 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Join PeacePacific in creating and celebrating Pacific visions of peace!
Wellington / Whanganui ä Tara: Saturday, 24 March
PeacePacific Youth Forum - youth education and information day, an opportunity to meet, share with and learn from experienced Pacific peace people. The forum is a platform for youth involvement in the UN conference and a chance to discuss the real Pacific peace issues. From the forum, youth representatives and two speakers will be chosen to attend the UN conference. A statement will be developed at the forum to be taken to the UN conference.
Resource people include: Losena Tubanavau-Salabula, Pacific demilitarisation specialist from the Pacific Concerns Resource Centre, Fiji; Susanna Ounei, Omomo Melen Pacific, Kanaky; Abigael Vogt, PeaceNetwork; Edwina Hughes, Peace Movement Aotearoa; Jen Margaret, Co-organiser, INSPIRE, the mega multi media peace dance party; Anna Parker, Women Educating Against Violence Collective ... and more!
From 9-30am to 5pm, Tapu Te Ranga Marae. Lunch will be provided, you must fill in a booking form to attend the forum - see http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/ppyf.htm or tel (04) 382 8129, email email@example.com
Wellington / Whanganui ä Tara: Saturday, 24 March
Putting the Peace back in 'Pacific' - evening of performance, after a hard day's Youth Forum, come and celebrate peace in the Pacific with performers, inspiring speakers, DJs and more, 8pm til late, The Space, Riddiford St, Newtown.
In the week before and during the UN Conference, listen out for interviews and PeacePacific focus programmes on Radioactive, Radio Ati Awa Toa, Channel Z, and Peace Forum on Wellington Access Radio.
During the week of the UN Conference, there will be informal meetings, focus groups and briefing sessions at the PMA offices and Tapu Te Ranga marae. For more info, contact PMA at firstname.lastname@example.org or tel (04) 382 8129.
Regional PeacePacific contact for Wellington / Whanganui ä Tara is Abigael email@example.com or tel (04) 382 8129.
Christchurch / Ötautahi: Friday, 30 March
PeacePacific: Putting the Peace back in ‘Pacific’ music culture extravaganza - Pacific Underground playing their unique blend of hip hop tunes spliced with Pacific beats and nuances, from 1pm to 2pm, Cathedral Square.
Delicious sounds, informative speakers, stalls, chalk art, breakdancing, grafitti art, Verse 2, The Charmed One, Jahmen, MC Peace, Sheelaroc, Esther's band, The Maestro Cooltones, Nava, Pacific Underground and Mother Guru feature, from 3pm til late, Outside the Dux deluxe at the Arts Centre.
Christchurch / Ötautahi: Saturday, 31 March
PeacePacific: workshop - facilitated workshops for young people on the subjects of independence and demilitarisation in the Pacific. Morning session: education and discussion session including a guest speaker from the Pacific Concerns Resource Centre. Afternoon session: activity based workshops focusing on exploring involvement in promoting peace issues, this will involve aspects of theatre and non-violent direct actions, from 9-30am to 12-30pm and 2pm to 5pm, YWCA conference room.
In the week before, and during the week of the UN Conference, listen out for interviews and PeacePacific focus programmes on Plains FM.
Regional PeacePacific contact for Christchurch / Ötautahi is Anna firstname.lastname@example.org or tel (03) 348 1350.
PeacePacific is good things happening for people in their teens and twenties.
Auckland / Tamaki Makaurau: Wednesday, 21 March
public meeting with Losena Tubanavau-Salabula from the Pacific Concerns Resource Centre, 7-30pm at Friends Meeting House, 113 Mt Eden Road. For more info contact Joan Macdonald, WILPF, email@example.com or tel (09) 360 8001.
Christchurch / Ötautahi: Friday, 23 March
‘A World without Landmines’ Mary Wareham, a New Zealander with Human Rights Watch (USA) speaking at 6-30pm at the United Nations Association of NZ Canterbury Branch AGM, venue and more info from Graham French, tel/fax (03) 389 7822, or firstname.lastname@example.org
Wellington / Whanganui ä Tara: Monday, 26 March
Development agencies meeting with Losena Tubanavau-Salabula - update on the work of the PCRC, and to make contact with development agencies and others whose work involves a Pacific focus, from 10am to 11am, at the Council for International Development, level 5, PSA House, 11 Aurora Tce. For more information contact either Louise May at Caritas email@example.com or Edwina Hughes at PMA firstname.lastname@example.org
Wellington / Whanganui ä Tara: Monday, 26 March
UN Model Disarmament Conference for secondary school students, opening by Matt Robson, Minister for Disarmament, from 9am to 3pm, at Circa Theatre, 1 Taranaki Street. Organised by UNA, for more info tel (04) 473 0441 or email@example.com
Wellington / Whanganui ä Tara: Monday, 26 March
NGO seminar on Pacific perspectives on peace and disarmament - overview and introductory session. Speakers include: representatives of international peace groups in Aotearoa - IPB, IALANA, MPI, IPPNW, A2000, Peace Council and WILPF - give an overview of their Pacific peace work; speakers from the PCRC outline their work as the Secretariat of the NFIP movement, and discuss NFIP peace perspectives; plus Pauline Tangiora; an NFIP speaker; and speakers from the PeacePacific Youth Forum.
There will also be an introduction to the topics of the NGO seminar on Thursday as follows: Southern Hemisphere Nuclear Weapons Free Zone, Llyn Richards; Landmines, Mary Wareham; Small arms - Edwina Hughes; Militarisation of space, Bob White.
From 3pm to 5-30pm, at Circa Theatre, 1 Taranaki Street, free. Organised by the NGO Co-ordinating Group, for more information, or to register your attendance, contact the NGO CG at tel (04) 385 5999 x5086 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Wellington / Whanganui ä Tara: Tuesday, 27 March
‘Decolonisation, Demilitarisation, Human Rights, and the Environment: Challenges for Pacific People in the 21st Century’ a discussion with Losena Tubanavau-Salabula from 1-15pm to 2-15pm, at Pacific Studies, 6 Kelburn Parade, Victoria University.
Wellington / Whanganui ä Tara: Wednesday 28 March
Third Erich Geiringer Oration with Senator Douglas Roche, by invitation only, co-sponsored by IPPNW Education & Research Trust and PADET, for more info contact IPPNW/A2000 (Wellington), tel (04) 385 5999 x5086 or email@example.com
Wellington / Whanganui ä Tara: Thursday, 29 March
NGO seminar on Pacific perspectives on peace and disarmament - focus sessions
Wellington / Whanganui ä Tara: Thursday, 29 March
'Paradise or Universal Death: International Law and Nuclear Weapons', a public address by Judge Weeramantry - 5-30pm for refreshments; 6-00pm, welcome by Pauline Tangiora, Rongomaiwahine; introduction by Matt Robson, Minster for Disarmament, then Judge Weeramantry to 8-00pm, at St Andrew's on the Terrace, 30 The Terrace. Organised by International Law Association, for more info contact Alyn Ware tel (04) 499 3443 or alynw@attglob
During the week of the UN Conference - there will be informal meetings, focus groups and briefing sessions at the PMA offices and Tapu Te Ranga marae. For more info, contact PMA at firstname.lastname@example.org or tel (04) 382 8129.
An information display - focussing on Pacific peace and disarmament issues, with information about the UN Asia-Pacific Regional Disarmament Conference will be on show in Wellington City Library, from 19 to 30 March.
The NGO Co-ordinating Group for the two Wellington seminars included representatives of: IPPNW, Abolition 2000 (Wellington), PeacePacific, PMA, PeaceNetwork, NCCD, Peace Foundation, WILPF (Aotearoa), Peace Council, CALM and UNA. The seminars have received support from: IPPNW, Abolition 2000 (Wellington), PMA, PeaceNetwork, NCCD, Peace Foundation, WILPF (Aotearoa), Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand, CALM, the International Security and Arms Control division (Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade), and Saints Information.
Christchurch / Ötautahi: Friday, 30 March
'Paradise or Universal Death: International Law and Nuclear Weapons', Judge Weeramantry speaks from 12 noon to 1pm at the University of Canterbury Law School Room 108. Co-sponsored by the Law and Politics Departments of the University and the Disarmament and Security Centre. For more info contact DSC tel (03) 348 1353 or 348 1350.
Christchurch / Ötautahi: Friday, 30 March
'The Right to Peace and the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons', Senator Douglas Roche speaks at 7-30pm at the Knox Church Hall, cnr Bealey Ave and Victoria Street. Co-sponsored by IPPNW(NZ)/Abolition 2000, PADET and the DSC. For more info contact DSC tel (03) 348 1353 or 348 1350.
Christchurch / Ötautahi: Saturday, 31 March
Development agencies meeting with Losena Tubanavau-Salabula, for more info contact Anna, tel (03) 348 1350 or email@example.com
For more information about the UN Conference and associated NGO events, check out http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/unconf.htm
The Committee to Stop Email Snooping, is currently collecting signatures for the following petition "To the House of Representatives, we request that the NZ parliament does not proceed with legislation before it that will allow the Police, Security Service and Government Communications Security Bureau to intercept the emails of members of the public and hack into their computers." Copies of the petition forms are available from PMA (by fax or post) or from Graeme Easte, PO Box 68-419, Auckland, tel/fax (09) 376 5901.
On 4 February 2001 the World Council of Churches launched the Decade to Overcome Violence with a service in Berlin, Germany. St Andrew's on the Terrace, Wellington, launched the Decade on the same day with a service focusing on some of the messengers of peace who have struggled to end the violence of colonisation. Churches and people of good will are encouraged to participate in the Decade. More info on the Decade is at http://www.wcc-coe.org/wcc/dov/index-e.html" To request material from the launch at St Andrew's, email firstname.lastname@example.org
The winner of the Roger Award 2000 will be announced in Wellington on 5 April, 7-30pm at St John’s Hall (corner Willis and Dixon Streets), gold coin entry. Judges are Maxine Gay (Former President of the TUF), Prue Hyman (Professor of Women’s Studies, VUW) and Jim Delahunty (CORPWatch); the finalists are BP, Westpac Trust, Tranz Rail, TransAlta, Shandwick and British American Tobacco.
Views expressed in this newsletter are not necessarily those of all PMA members or the Working Group.
COPYRIGHT Peace Movement Aotearoa 2001. Permission is given for written material to be used by groups and individuals sharing our aims and objectives - please credit sourced material to its original source, unsourced material to PMA.
Link to earlier PMA newsletters.
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