"Peace" Mayor calls for new weapons
Peace Action Wellington is appalled that despite Mayor Celia Wade-Brown being Executive Leader of international Mayors for Peace, she is calling for new weapons for the military, and sees value in promoting weapons sales at Council venues.
In a recent response to Peace Action Wellington about the upcoming Weapons Conference to be held at the TSB Arena, the Mayor said she: "supports many roles conducted by New Zealand’s defence forces…Therefore they do need to have inflatable boats, helicopters and weapons… the purveyors of appropriate equipment for NZ Forces may also promote and sell other equipment to overseas authorities."
The Weapons Conference is a meeting of 200 of the world's largest weapons manufacturers. This year it will be held at the TSB Arena – a city council venue. Celia seems to be under the impression that all it takes for peace is for her to make videos of herself in Island Bay 'waving goodbye to nuclear weapons.' Meanwhile, Lockheed Martin, the world's largest producer of weapons and maker of the Trident D5 nuclear missiles, will play host to the Weapons Conference in her so-called 'Peace City'.
Her commitment to working for peace appears to be as shallow as her understanding of the role of weapons manufacturers in promoting war and militarism. In her response, the Mayor has equated the Weapons Conference with the likes of an international yoga meeting or a sustainable living expo.
The list of companies that will attend include makers of tanks, drones, missiles and command systems for rocket launchers among many other pieces of military hardware. These companies supply repressive regimes well-known for their human rights abuses. Meanwhile, military spending in Asia and Oceania is rising; it increased by 5 per cent in 2014 alone and by 62 per cent between 2005 and 2014, reaching $439 billion in 2014.
If Wellington is going to be a 'Peace City' then it will take more than lip service by the Mayor. It takes a commitment to standing up for what is right and just
Peace Action Wellington challenges the Mayor to take a principled stance against the Weapons Conference by condemning it for what it is: war profiteering.