Peace and Security

 

Page Contents: 

About 

Special Officer for Peace and Security

UN Agencies for Peace and Security

Reports from the Special Officer

Online Resources


About

The Charter of the United Nations, premised in the name of "we, the peoples", established the UN with the aim of saving succeeding generations from the scourge of war. 

 

The United Nations Association of New Zealand, committed to realising the vision of the charter, seeks to promote international peace and security. We are committed to promoting such through the UN principles of dialogue, multilateralism, and collective security. 

 

 

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Special Officer for Peace and Security

Helena McMullin

peaceandsecurity@unanz.org.nz

 

Helena was elected during the May 2012 National Council Meeting. 

 

 

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UN Agencies for Peace and Security Issues

► United Nations Peace and Security Agencies

► UN GA First Committee: Disarmament and International Security

► UN Security Council

► UN Peacebuilding Commission

► United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs

► UN University for Peace and Conflict Studies

► The International Day of Peace

► Report on the Panel of United Nations Peace Operations

 

UN Recruitment for Peace Operations

► United Nations Peace Operations Recruitment

► UN Volunteers

 

 

New Zealand Organisations for Peace and Security

► The Peace Foundation

► Aotearoa Peace and Conflict Studies Centre Trust

► National Consultative Committee on Disarmament (UNANZ Affiliated Organisation)

► Operation Peace Through Unity (UNANZ Affiliated Organisation)

► Peace Movement Aotearoa

► Pan Pacific South East Asian Women's Association (UNANZ Affiliated Organisation)

► International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons Aotearoa New Zealand

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Speech for Hiroshima Day by Tamilla Dauletbayeva

 

Wellington, New Zealand, August 3, 2014

I am a child of two countries where nuclear energy and weapons left visible scars in these countries’ histories. As someone who grew up in Ukraine during the years not long after the Chernobyl catastrophe, I was impacted by constant reminders in school, at home, and everywhere around me of the deadly implications of nuclear energy. 26th power plant exploded, forever changed Ukraine and its people. Thousands of lives have been affected and the count still continues.

By the time I moved to Kazakhstan, I had already read multiple books and articles of the nuclear testing sites in the vast steppes of Kazakhstan. But being there, seeing horrific consequences of nuclear testing on human body and health, working with disabled people affected by high doses of radiation in the settlements in close vicinity to former testing sites provided an even bigger horrendous picture of how humans can harm or even destroy themselves, nature and life on the planet as we know it. I was very proud of Kazakhstan when one of its first initiatives after gaining independence in 1991 was to destroy its nuclear arsenal and promote nuclear non-proliferation not only in the region, but globally. Only a month ago, by some amazingly twisted fortune I met with a Kazakhstan Ambassador-at-large for nuclear non-proliferation Mr. Barlybay Sadykov, here in Wellington. Members of civil society in Wellington and Mr. Ambassador were able to discuss current issues and future plans for further cooperation between Kazakhstan and New Zealand in the realm of promoting nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament worldwide. Maybe some of you have either heard or know about the Atom Project, which was launched in Kazakhstan in 2012. The project aims to gain international support to promote abolition of nuclear testing worldwide.
I was also privileged to attend classes at Central European University in Budapest, Hungary delivered by the prominent and eloquent advocate for nuclear non-proliferation Mr. Gareth Evans, former Australian Foreign Minister. For three weeks, he shared with us his experience on the work he did as a co-chair of Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Commission from 2008-2010 and as a current Convenor of the Asia-Pacific Leadership Network for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament.
From my personal experience of living in both Ukraine and Kazakhstan, working with people affected by nuclear testing in Kazakhstan and having professors like Gareth Evans talk about importance of nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament I have learned the following:
• As long as at least one country is in possession of nuclear weapons, others will try to obtain or develop them as well.
• Nuclear weapons will be used at some point either deliberately or by mistake, human error or system error. The International community should be more concerned and alarmed about the non-deliberate use, which is a higher risk due to false alarms, human or system errors. The Ukraine and recent Fukushima tragedy are the prefect examples of such tragic accidents. Currently the threat is increasing as modern technology, cyber war and cyber terrorism can compromise communication lines and potentially lead to increased vulnerabilities at nuclear sites.
• Any such use of nuclear weapons will be catastrophic for the life on the planet as we know it.

A combined effort of multiple actors should move the nuclear disarmament agenda forward.
• A top down commitment from existing nuclear states and new nuclear states for minimization and eliminating nuclear weapons is crucial.
• We need to combine our efforts and exercise peer group pressure in the form of coalitions and leadership networks to forward the cause. Kazakhstan and New Zealand are the perfect examples of such coalition and networking.
• And finally, days like this and people like you and me create civil activism from grassroots level needed in pressuring governments to disarm.

Thank you! 

 

Report by Laurie Ross, Auckland Branch Special Officer for Peace and Security

 

on her attendance at International Conferences for Nuclear Disarmament - April 2013 

PDF document HERE

Reports from the Special Officer for Peace and Security

National Council Report - February 2013

CENTRAL AFRICA: A GLOBAL DISASTER ZONE IN NEED OF OUR URGENT ASSISTANCE

Bearing in mind New Zealand troops returning from Afghanistan and the prudence of keeping our military and civil defence forces trained, active and helping, it seems Central Africa is the next place to be.

 

Al Qaeda is spreading in West Africa, linking with local Islamic extremist groups. Mali is unstable. France has deployed 1,700 men to assist the Mali government and more men are being armed locally. Belgium has sent dozens of soldiers, as well as fully staffed medical helicopters. Millions of people already suffering are at increased risk. It has also put 75% of world cocoa supply and a significant amount of gold mined in the region at risk.

n East Africa, Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), remains at large despite the International Criminal Court (ICC) warrant issued for his arrest in 2005. Kony is responsible for the displacement of more than two million people. This monster has kidnapped more than 66,000 children, killed countless of their parents and family, and forced the children into slavery, often as child soldiers sent to maim and kill. Kony’s extensive deliberate cruelty to children goes beyond what the mind can imagine. The cost to Africa’s peoples is enormous, they are already struggling. Yet Kony is still at large.

In October 2011, US President Obama authorised the deployment of 100 military personnel into Central Africa to assist the African Union initiative of 5,000 men to find Kony. He has still not been found. It is clear additional assistance is needed and we are able to help. Bearing in mind our commitments to the ICC and to protect children, perhaps New Zealand can contribute to a peace-keeping and aid initiative to help track down and arrest Kony?

The problem is more complex than war crimes and crimes against humanity. Central Africa is a red flag in terms of terrorism, global peace and security. With Al Qaeda increasing its hold in West Africa, Kony dominates in East Africa. With their extreme Islamic fundamentalist approaches (Kony partly bases his god rule on fundamentalist Islam) an alliance between the two is not impossible. This would make Central Africa one of the most dangerous global terrorist breeding grounds. It potentially already is. Between these two extremist groups, they could take control of Central Africa; a continent descending into war. This when Africa is a nation of nations already underprivileged and unstable in many respects.

We have a commitment to protect children, we have a commitment to the ICC and we have a commitment to advance human rights globally. Now we need to help Africa. In 2012, Save the Children reported that one third of children under the age of five die from starvation. In East Africa alone, 6.5 million children suffer. Of the 80% of children stunted due to malnutrition, the majority are in Africa.

New Zealand is working to help our children here at home. Internationally, we can no longer ignore the atrocities in Africa. We need to assign more resources to help Africa’s peoples find peace so they can prosper. Africa now also suffers from growing extremist terrorism. This is a threat to global peace and security. To further global peace and justice, we can and must offer urgent assistance to the African peoples.

Special Officer, Peace & Security
Helena McMullin

National Council Report - September 2012

Nuclear Disarmament and Depleted Uranium
Although the international community has yet to agree on the details of a new treaty for nuclear disarmament, the majority has agreed it is necessary to have one.

Following the petition by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons Aotearoa New Zealand (iCAN ANZ) calling for New Zealand to actively work internationally to abolish nuclear weapons, the recent report of the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee said "we believe New Zealand should move beyond a position of general support to the forefront of negotiations towards a nuclear weapons convention" (August, 2012).

We have written to encourage the Honourable McCully to act promptly on this excellent recommendation, suggesting also Government may wish to make a statement in favour of a global ban on depleted uranium and enable a bill banning such use in New Zealand.

The global movement for a ban on depleted uranium (DU) keeps gaining traction. In October, a fourth resolution banning DU will be tabled at the UN. Official studies are underway to establish the extent of DU damage on civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan, the outcomes of which no doubt will be helpful in firmly establishing the long term damage (primarily on women and children) caused by DU missiles used in international conflicts.

Only four states block a UN resolution banning DU weapons: the US, UK, France and Israel. The US remains the biggest user of these weapons and the DU movement is currently addressing its concerns directly to Hillary Clinton.

Spotlight on Mali – the “Afghanistan of Africa”
An increasing regional and also international peace and security risk is Mali in West Africa. Ranked 175th out of 187 countries in the 2011 UN Human Development Index, more than 30% of children under five are malnourished and malaria is rife. More than two thirds of the population lives below the poverty line and the country is in the grip of a hunger crisis, as reported by WorldVision.
To make bad matters worse, Omar Ould Hamaha, leader of fundamentalist Islamic Ansar Dine (Defenders of the Faith) now controls nearly two thirds of Mali. The current government cannot handle the situation. Hundreds of thousands have escaped into its neighbouring countries. New Zealand can assist by raising awareness in international fora with the aim of garnering support for an international assistance programme. Mali is not only a potential terrorism threat. With 75% of global cocoa supply (the key ingredient in chocolate) grown in West Africa, an out of control situation may also affect the global trade in chocolate products.

Sudan
The situation in Sudan is deteriorating. So far this year, more people have died than during all of last year. The Guardian (UK) reports casualties are in the region of 700. Although the UN reports some 100,000 have been able to return home, the political climate is volatile. Medicines Sans Frontiers (MSF) reports they are no longer able to provide the care previously provided, affecting more than 100,000 people in the north of Sudan. Save the Children and Oxfam are no longer able to provide services there.

MSF reports around 170,000 refugees have fled from the fighting in the Blue Nile and South Kordofan to the five camps in south Sudan. Following the death of eight people in Nyala last month, Ravina Shamdasani, spokesperson for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), has urged Sudan to investigate the use of excessive force by security forces.

Afghanistan
Some 130,000 NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) soldiers, including 90,000 Americans, are currently stationed in Afghanistan. To date, more than 3,100 ISAF soldiers have lost their lives. New Zealand’s death toll doubled last month to ten people after two separate incidents. On 4 September, our Government confirmed it will withdraw its troops from Afghanistan in April next year. Our 35-strong SAS unit left Kabul in March this year and the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) will leave the Bamiyan province at the end of April next year, after ten years in the country.
In July, UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women, Rashida Manjoo, spoke out against the killing of Hanifa Safi, a provincial head of the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, and the public execution of Najiba, a woman accused of adultery in Afghanistan, saying they were “tragic reminders that gender related killings of women are a global and increasing concern.”

Iraq
In late July, the UN Special Rapporteur on arbitrary executions, Christof Heyns, raised alarm about the upheld death sentences for up to 196 prisoners in the Anbar province. The Special Rapporteur supported the January appeal by the High Commissioner for Human Rights for the establishment of a moratorium on the death penalty, which statement deplored the execution of 34 individuals in one day. The next Special Rapporteur report is due to the General Assembly in October.

One NZDF Officer is currently providing liaison between the United Nations Assistance Mission Iraq (UNAMI) and the Multinational Force and Iraqi Security Forces, as well as giving advice on military matters to the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General. We urge this officer to encourage accurate transparent reporting of executions and also a moratorium on the death penalty.

Syria
In July, the UN Security Council failed to adopt a resolution that would have threatened sanctions on Damascus. Eleven of the Council’s 15 members voted in favour, but permanent members China and Russia voted against, Pakistan and South Africa abstained. A veto by a permanent member means a resolution cannot be adopted. The UN estimates more than 100,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed since the uprising started. Amnesty International recently sent a representative to Syria, who reports the death toll is closer to 15,000 casualties to date. Avaaz also reports the situation is far more serious than generally reported.

Pakistan
Pakistan continues to block progress towards nuclear disarmament in the Conference for Disarmament (CD). There are also reports that Pakistani fighters are moving into northern Mali. In July, UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women, Rashida Manjoo, spoke out against the killing of Fareeda Afridi, a human rights defender in Pakistan. All of this is of great concern. The international community needs to increase its diplomatic work with Pakistan to encourage its compliance with its obligations under international law.

Conclusion
Mali is heading towards disaster with two thirds of the country now in the hands of Ansar Dine, fundamental Muslims with ties to Al-Qaeda and who have declared war on the West. Bearing in mind the past and hoping to avoid unnecessary future loss of lives, it would be prudent to work with countries that clearly constitute a risk to global peace and security, even if they are not yet official conflict zones.

New Zealand can assist the international community by raising awareness through its diplomatic channels in those countries for one reason or another apparently bent on blocking peaceful progress consistent with human rights, or that are risk zones because of pockets of fundamentalist politics that violate international conventions, as well as raising awareness in global fora of potential hot spots that may result in negative impacts on global trade.

Special Officer, Peace & Security
Helena McMullin
 

Download a PDF version HERE

National Council Report - February 2012

 

 
CENTRAL AFRICA: A GLOBAL DISASTER ZONE IN NEED OF OUR URGENT ASSISTANCE

 
Bearing in mind New Zealand troops returning from Afghanistan and the prudence of keeping our military and civil defence forces trained, active and helping, it seems Central Africa is the next place to be.
 
Al Qaeda is spreading in West Africa, linking with local Islamic extremist groups. Mali is unstable. France has deployed 1,700 men to assist the Mali government and more men are being armed locally. Belgium has sent dozens of soldiers, as well as fully staffed medical helicopters. Millions of people already suffering are at increased risk. It has also put 75% of world cocoa supply and a significant amount of gold mined in the region at risk.
 
n East Africa, Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), remains at large despite the International Criminal Court (ICC) warrant issued for his arrest in 2005. Kony is responsible for the displacement of more than two million people. This monster has kidnapped more than 66,000 children, killed countless of their parents and family, and forced the children into slavery, often as child soldiers sent to maim and kill. Kony’s extensive deliberate cruelty to children goes beyond what the mind can imagine. The cost to Africa’s peoples is enormous, they are already struggling. Yet Kony is still at large.
 
In October 2011, US President Obama authorised the deployment of 100 military personnel into Central Africa to assist the African Union initiative of 5,000 men to find Kony. He has still not been found. It is clear additional assistance is needed and we are able to help. Bearing in mind our commitments to the ICC and to protect children, perhaps New Zealand can contribute to a peace-keeping and aid initiative to help track down and arrest Kony?
 
The problem is more complex than war crimes and crimes against humanity. Central Africa is a red flag in terms of terrorism, global peace and security. With Al Qaeda increasing its hold in West Africa, Kony dominates in East Africa. With their extreme Islamic fundamentalist approaches (Kony partly bases his god rule on fundamentalist Islam) an alliance between the two is not impossible. This would make Central Africa one of the most dangerous global terrorist breeding grounds. It potentially already is. Between these two extremist groups, they could take control of Central Africa; a continent descending into war. This when Africa is a nation of nations already underprivileged and unstable in many respects.
 
We have a commitment to protect children, we have a commitment to the ICC and we have a commitment to advance human rights globally. Now we need to help Africa. In 2012, Save the Children reported that one third of children under the age of five die from starvation. In East Africa alone, 6.5 million children suffer. Of the 80% of children stunted due to malnutrition, the majority are in Africa.
 
New Zealand is working to help our children here at home. Internationally, we can no longer ignore the atrocities in Africa. We need to assign more resources to help Africa’s peoples find peace so they can prosper. Africa now also suffers from growing extremist terrorism. This is a threat to global peace and security. To further global peace and justice, we can and must offer urgent assistance to the African peoples. 

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Peace and Security Documents

 TitleSize (Kb) Description
Reconciliation and the Alliance of Civilisations1,213.34DownloadSpeech by Professor Paul Morris in 2009 Turnbull House, Wellington. The topic is reconciliation, with reference in particular to the Alliance of Civilizations, AOC. I want to begin by introducing the idea of reconciliation in this Year of Reconciliatio
Sumission to WFUNA - Peacebuilding Commission470.53DownloadA UNANZ resolution and submission to the World Federation of United Nations Associations on a proposed UN initiative
Women Working for Peace and the Prevention of War475.14DownloadJoan MacDonald introduces the work of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom
Peace and Disarmament; NZ's Role482.30DownloadFormer Minister for Disarmament, Hon. Marian Hobbs, comments on New Zealand's role in international disarmament initiatives
Nuclear Free NZ, the UN, and War on Iran Warnings 489.47DownloadLarry Ross, Secretary/Founder ot the NZ Nuclear Free Peacemaking Association, comments on some of the most pressing issues in the field of nuclear disarmament.
Comment on The Responsibility to Protect477.18DownloadRobin Halliday writes about an important emerging concept in international law
Introduction to the Parliamentary Network for Nuclear Disarmament492.03DownloadAssistant Global Coordinator for the PNND, Kaspar Beech introduces Parliamentary Initiatives for Nuclear Disarmament at the United Nations and other fora