Christchurch nuclear weapons activists head to UN

IMPORTANT: Robert Green and Kate Dewes will help negotiate a treaty to ban nuclear weapons at a United Nations conference next month. PHOTO: GEOFF SLOAN

Two Christchurch activists will be at a United Nations conference in New York next month to help negotiate a treaty to ban nuclear weapons.

Kate Dewes ONZM and Robert Green will be among delegates from more than 130 nations aimed to finalise a treaty that will stigmatise nuclear weapons.

Unlike chemical and biological weapons, nuclear weapons have not yet been outlawed internationally.

Lucy Stewart and Lyndon Burford, also from New Zealand, will also attend the conference that runs from June 15 to July 7.

Dr Dewes has served on disarmament advisory boards of two UN Secretaries General. She has been active in the anti-nuclear movement for more than 40 years.

“I feel deeply honoured to be heading this team of New Zealand civil society delegates in the most exciting breakthrough towards a nuclear weapon-free world since the 1996 World Court judgement.”

Commander Green, a former operator of British nuclear weapons spoke out against nuclear weapons before the first Gulf War in 1991.

“The boycott of these negotiations by the nuclear weapon states shows how much they fear a prohibition treaty, not least because of the impact it will have on military operators of nuclear weapons,” he said.