Instead of hosting US-style weapons expos like that being held in Palmerston North, New Zealand could be a world leader in peace mediation, humanitarian work and neutrality like Norway, Switzerland and Finland, Green Party Defence spokesperson Golriz Ghahraman said today.
“This American style event where arms manufacturers showcase weapons like pocket machine guns, killer drones and self-steering bullets that are then sold for huge profits to be used in global conflicts would shock most New Zealanders.
“War and violence continues because of the huge profits made by the war industry, led by huge multinational weapons makers attending the expo in Palmerston North.
“Instead of engaging in the military industrial complex that causes so much suffering for profit, New Zealand is well placed to become a country that engages in world-renowned peace mediation. New Zealand can also assist with international conflicts through properly resourced non-violent humanitarian and disaster aid.
“Rather than trying to resolve conflicts like the United States, we can instead become a country known for peace mediation like Norway, Switzerland, or Finland.
“We must stop hosting weapons expos from companies that have blood on their hands, and must instead look to ending our military deployment in Afghanistan and Iraq when the next military deployment ends, we can direct our energy and resources to become a country that is pivotal in peace mediation.
“We can draw on our domestic experience of peace mediation from the Waitangi tribunal or our nuclear free decision.
“We can also redirect our military to use their diverse and well developed skills to assist in search and rescue, disaster relief, fisheries protection, climate change research, and peacekeeping.
“New Zealand would become a genuine world-leader in the global effort to create a world without violence. We would have a defence force that helps rather than hinders and world-leading peace mediators”.