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National Conference on Climate Change, Disarmament

On the 22nd of June, UNANZ National Conference presented attendees with the privilege of being able to listen to and learn from a collection of experts in their specialised fields in regard to climate change, disarmament and non-aggression. During the conference, guests and speakers were treated to catered nibbles provided by UNANZ and opportunity to network amongst themselves. And following the presentations, the National Executives conducted their Annual General Meeting for 2019.

One of the speakers of the day was Dr Mere Skerrett who is the current President of the New Zealand Research in Education who spoke on Non-aggression and Indigenous and Colonial history. Dr. Mere is a Senior Lecturer at Victoria University of Wellington and holds many other titles, but ultimately her work centres around equity issues regarding Tangata Whenua, constitutional reform, women’s issues and children’s rights. Also, we had Brig.(Rtd) Kevin Riordan who was the former Director General of Defence Legal Services for the NZDF, presenting on the topic of Disarmament. His contributions as well as Dr Mere were eye opening and it was very intriguing to learn from such experienced experts.

On the topic of Climate Change, The Hon. James Shaw who is the present Minister for Climate Change, as well as the co-leader of the Green Party, presented his views in an engaging speech in regard to the work he does in Parliament. He is a key figure in the advocacy of wanting the government to incorporate more climate change-centred policies into its structure. Nicola Willis, an MP and the National Party’s spokesperson for Early Childhood Education presenting on the topic of Climate Change as well.

Amongst the esteemed speakers that were present that day was Dr Kennedy Graham. He was the former MP of the Green Party and served in the New Zealand Foreign Service for 16 years. He shared his experiences that came from his roles and presented on Rules Based Order. In the same vein, Dr. Cathy Downes, who joined the Victoria University of Wellington's Centre for Strategic Studies in 2018 after serving 15 years as Professor of Strategy and Policy in the Washington D.C.-based U.S. National Defence University’s College of Information and Cyberspace. Her research and teachings focus on the security and defence studies within the cyber space amongst other topics. At this conference, she spoke on Non-Aggression.

The United Nations Association of New Zealand is grateful to the speakers for presenting at the UNANZ National Conference, as the work that they dedicate their lives to inspire the masses and aim for change.

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