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New Zealand to Host Seminar on Less Lethal Weapons

Media Release

16 March 2012

New Zealand to Host Seminar on Less Lethal Weapons

The NZ Army is hosting the 2012 Non-Lethal Weapons Executive Seminar (NOLES) where it will be promoting a greater understanding of non-lethal weapons and technology in the Asia-Pacific region.

Non-lethal, or “less lethal” systems as they are known in New Zealand, are weapons and devices designed to incapacitate a target while minimising fatalities or permanent injury.

The NZ Defence Force’s Land Component Commander, Brigadier Mark Wheeler, says NOLES is an annual multilateral seminar sponsored by the US Marine Corps Forces Pacific. This year it will be held in New Zealand over the period 28 – 30 March in Wellington. Keynote speakers will discuss relevant topics including International Human Rights Law, the Laws of Armed Conflict, and planning considerations for the employment of less lethal weapons.

Approximately 75 participants will be in attendance from 19 countries, making it a significant multi-national engagement with representatives from the wider Asia-Pacific region, exposing participants to current and future less lethal weapons capabilities.

“It is becoming more commonplace for military forces to be operating in conflict zones where they are required to maintain law and order, control civil disturbances, or respond to rapid changes in levels of violence, where the use of lethal force may not be justified or permissible,” says Brigadier Wheeler.

“Less lethal weapons provide military commanders with more options. They can be used to disperse large groups of hostile people, stop or disable vehicles, or deny access to important facilities.”

According to Brigadier Wheeler, the use of less lethal technologies provides security forces with the ability to counter non-traditional threats, while mitigating the effects on the civilian population and the environment.


Background Information:

This is the 10th year that NOLES will be held. It is a US sponsored, multilateral initiative designed to promote awareness of non-lethal (or “less lethal” in NZDF terminology) weapons as well as develop techniques, tactics and procedures to maintain order in low-intensity or civil unrest scenarios encountered on operations.

NOLES is an annual event and each year the US co-hosts the event with another country in the Asia - Pacific region. Last year the seminar was co-hosted with Thailand.

List of Participating Countries:

• New Zealand

• Australia

• United States of America

• United Kingdom

• Indonesia

• Malaysia

• Mongolia

• Nepal

• Papua New Guinea

• The Philippines Solomon Islands

• Tonga

• Vanuatu

• Vietnam

• Peoples Republic of China

• France (French Armed Forces New Caledonia)

• Singapore

• Thailand

• India


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