In September ’19, a group of NZ students assembled in Wellington for a symposium on ‘Making Nuclear Weapons Illegal’. Organised by the NZ Centre for Global Studies, the event was co-hosted by Massey University, with collaboration from UN Youth-NZ.
Presentations on the subject were given by, among others, Prof Chris Gallavin (Dep Pro-VC, Massey University), Prof Rouben Azizian (Director, Massey Centre for Defence & Security Studies) and Dr Kennedy Graham (Director, NZCGS).
In the second part of the symposium, the students organised their own session, chaired by Renee Moorjani (Secretary, NZCGS) and Jayden van Leeuwen (President, UN Youth). The students prepared a Young Global Citizens Pledge: Making Nuclear Weapons Illegal. The Pledge is shown below.
"We, secondary and tertiary students from across New Zealand, having met in Wellington on 6 & 7 September, hereby pledge to further the agenda: Make Nuclear Weapons Illegal.
We call upon all States, including those who rely on nuclear deterrence directly or indirectly, to adopt a positive approach to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) 2017, and to sign and ratify the Treaty no later than the end of 2022.
We pledge to educate ourselves, the youth of New Zealand and to extend this effort to the youth of other nations, on the evidence of intergenerational harm caused by nuclear warfare, the effects of testing and the need to prioritise disarmament over arms control. We call for New Zealand to assume its position as a facilitator in the international landscape, and champion the movement for full nuclear disarmament in the light of the Climate Crisis to protect our shores and those of our vulnerable neighbours in the Pacific Islands.
As young global citizens, and as the generation inheriting the future of this challenging century, we call upon the youth of all nations and members of the United Nations to join us in urging our governments to support this movement for ratification of the TPNW worldwide. Furthermore, as the youth of New Zealand, we urge our government to uphold our commitments to Nuclear Free Aotearoa, condemn pro-nuclear rhetoric and activities from nuclear-weapon states and encourage transparency from the private sector with regard to pro-nuclear funding, with the view to give the public the option to support or boycott those organisations.
We call for reform of the UN Security Council, with a view to strengthening international peace and security as mandated in the UN Charter. Recalling our recent experience of terrorism, we support a dialogue among all cultures with a view to enhancing mutual understanding among us all, as global citizens, to strengthen universal peace, also envisaged in the Charter.”
We hereby establish a Young Global Citizens Movement for Ratification of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons 2017 based in Wellington, New Zealand as a precondition of universal peace. We will now seek to build a world-wide network for the Movement.
Below are the drafters and signatories of the Pledge.
Renee Moorjani, Jayden van Leeuwen, Abby Wong, Anna Blokker, Anri Ichikawa, Caitlin Currie, Craig Hebblethwaite, Denise Bossart, Dharvin Jayamurali, Eva Maffey, Haya Khan, Jessica Zhou, Joana Tao, Julia Caulfield, Rebecca Tang, Red Tsounga, Sam Satterthwaite, Samantha Chow, Snigdha Mundra, Tegan Stoneman, Tony Huang
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