Cluster munitions: what's on, and what you can do
From 18 to 22 February, the government is hosting an international conference in Wellington as part of the Oslo process to negotiate a legally-binding convention which would prohibit the use, production, transfer and stockpiling of cluster munitions. This alert has information about the NGO activities and events organised by the Aotearoa New Zealand Cluster Munition Coalition and member groups. More than 150 NGO representatives from 38 countries have registered with the Coalition to take part in events in and around the conference, and representatives from around 100 governments are registered to attend it.
There are five sections below:
- sign the online petition at http://www.stopclusterbombs.org.nz/take-action/petition - if you want your signature to be included in the petition count to be announced on 20 February, please make sure you add your name by Monday, 18 February.
- organise a stunt action in your community to coincide with the Wellington event on 20 February (see listing below) - it is really easy to do! Ideas and resources are at http://www.stopclusterbombs.org.nz/take-action and http://www.stopclusterbombs.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2008/01/ActionKit-A4.pdf
- Tuesday, 19 February - 'Taking Action Against Cluster Bomb Manufacturers': Co-leader of the Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand Mr Russel Norman is facilitating this panel discussion on divestment and other measures taken to halt the manufacture of cluster munitions; featuring Mr Mark Hiznay of Human Rights Watch, Ms Gro Nystuen of the Norwegian Government Pension Fund, and Miriam Struyk of Pax Christi (Netherlands) who helped make the documentary 'The Clusterbomb Feeling' which led the biggest Dutch pension funds to divest from cluster munitions and landmines manufacturers. From 1pm to 2.30pm, Ilott Theatre, Wellington Town Hall; no RSVP required, but please be seated by 12.50pm. A flyer for this event is available at http://www.stopclusterbombs.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2008/02/flyer_lunch19feb_a5.pdf
- Tuesday, 19 February - CALM Lecture by Nobel Peace Laureate Ms Jody Williams: In her only public talk during her visit to Wellington, Nobel Peace Laureate Ms Jody Williams will deliver this lecture to honour the legacy of long-time disarmament campaigner John Vernon Head, QSM, who died on 4 February 2007. From 6pm to 7.30pm, Ilott Theatre, Wellington Town Hall. If you are planning on attending, please RSVP to email by 15 February. A flyer for this event is available at http://www.stopclusterbombs.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2008/02/calm_lectureinvite_19feb08.pdf
- Wednesday, 20 February - Petition Stunt Action: come and sign a chalk silhouette petition to signal your support for the cluster bomb ban, from 12pm to 5pm, Civic Square, Wellington. No RSVP required, bring your friends! Rain date: Thursday, 21 February. Flyers for this event are available at - black & white http://www.stopclusterbombs.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2008/01/BodiesPoster-A2-BW.pdf (black and white) and http://www.stopclusterbombs.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2008/01/BodiesPoster-A2-Colour.pdf (colour).
- Wednesday, 20 February - NCCD Workshop on Detection and Demining: This workshop on detection and demining of landmines and cluster bombs will be facilitated by Mr Rod Alley, Chair, National Consultative Committee on Disarmament. From 12.30pm to 2.30pm, Centre for Global Action, 55 Cuba St, 2nd floor (James Smiths building), Wellington; if you are planning on attending, please RSVP to email.
- Thursday, 21 February - CMC Lunchtime Talk 'Cluster Munitions in Lebanon': Ms Haboubba Aoun from the Beirut-based Landmine Resource Centre will chair this panel which features Human Rights Watch researcher Bonnie Docherty (speaking about her new Feb 08 report on cluster munitions in Lebanon) and Chris Clarke, United Nations programme manager for the Mine Action Coordination Centre of South Lebanon. From 1pm to 2.30pm, Ilott Theatre, Wellington Town Hall; no RSVP required, but please be seated by 12.50pm.
- Thursday, 21 February - DRC Film Screening 'Unacceptable Harm: 40 Years of Cluster Munitions': the Development Resource Centre is screening this documentary film together with other short films. It will be followed by a discussion led by Australian photographer John Rodsted on using visual media to achieve advocacy objectives. From 6pm to 7.30pm, Ilott Theatre, Wellington Town Hall; if you are planning on attending, please RSVP to Elena Wrelton, tel (04) 496-9597 or email. A flyer for this event is available at http://www.stopclusterbombs.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2008/02/drc_filmflyer_a5.pdf
- Tuesday, 19 February - 'Making Cluster Munitions History': This panel discussion featuring hosted by WILPF Aotearoa, Pax Christi and the Peace Foundation features two international speakers - Ms Miriam Struyk, (Netherlands) who helped make the documentary 'The Clusterbomb Feeling' which led the biggest Dutch pension funds to divest from cluster munitions and landmines manufacturers, and Mr Stan Brabant, Handicap International (Belgium) who was instrumental in securing Belgium's domestic cluster munition ban through Belgium's House of Representatives in February 2006, the first legislation of its kind in the world. From 6pm to 8pm, Aotea Chapel, 370 Queen Street, no RSVP required. A flyer for this event is available at http://www.stopclusterbombs.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2008/02/wilpf_aklflyer_21feb08.pdf
- Thursday, 21 February - Oxfam Breakfast with Nobel Peace Laureate Ms Jody Williams: This is the only Auckland speaking engagement by Jody Williams, who will be introduced by Ms Eileen Kolma, representative of Oxfam's Papua New Guinea program. From 7.30am to 9am, Auckland War Museum, Domain. Tickets available from Oxfam NZ 0800 400 666; a flyer for this event is available at http://www.stopclusterbombs.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2008/02/wbp_email_flyer-final.pdf
- Saturday, 23 February - Public meeting with reports from the Wellington Cluster Munitions Conference by Robin Halliday, UNANZ Special officer for Peace and Disarmament, and Matt McGrath, President, United Nations Youth Association of New Zealand; and a report by Diane Winder, UNANZ National Vice President and President Rodney Branch, on the 'Climate Change: How it impacts us all' UN DPI / NGO Conference which was held in New York in September 2007. Starts 7.30pm, Conference Room, Presbyterian Support, 44 Bealey Avenue. Organised by the United Nations Association of New Zealand Canterbury Branch, for more information contact Mary McGiven tel (03) 355 9812. A flyer for this event is available at http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/cmunanz08.pdf.
- Information about cluster munitions is available on the Aotearoa New Zealand Cluster Munition Coalition site at http://www.stopclusterbombs.org.nz and the international Cluster Munition Coalition site at http://www.stopclustermunitions.org, information on the Aotearoa New Zealand Cluster Munition Coalition is at http://www.stopclusterbombs.org.nz/about.
- 'Questions & Answers: Wellington Conference on Cluster Munitions', Aotearoa New Zealand Cluster Munition Coalition, an excellent summary of the issues and of the Oslo process, is at http://www.stopclusterbombs.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2008/01/cmcnz_qa_wellington_18jan08.pdf, information on the NZ government's role is at http://www.stopclusterbombs.org.nz/new-zealands-role, information on the Wellington conference is at http://www.stopclusterbombs.org.nz/the-conference, and the online listings of public events is at http://www.stopclusterbombs.org.nz/2008/01/20/schedule-of-public-events.
- Information about NZ Super Fund investments in companies involved in cluster munitions production, No WARP! (Network Opposed to Weapons and Related Production), is at http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/nwaug07.htm - updated information will be included in a No WARP! Action Alert which will be available at http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/nowarp.htm on 18 February.
- The government's site for the Wellington Conference on Cluster Munitions, which includes links to the draft Cluster Munitions Convention and other official documents, is at http://www.mfat.govt.nz/clustermunitionswellington.