Monday, July 2, 2018


For whatever reason I am a member of the Public Advisory Committee on Disarmament and Arms Control (PACDAC).     PACDAC is an 'expert body' (so called) established under statute to advise both the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister for Disarmament and Arms Control on such aspects of disarmament and arms control as we think fit as mandated in the NZ Nuclear free Zone and Arms Control Act 1987.

We also control the expenditure of funds from the Peace and Disarmament Education Trust (PADET) and the Disarmament Education United Nations Implementation Fund (DEUNIF).  

The objectives of PADET are to advance education and thereby promote international peace, arms control and disarmament.   The objectives of DEUNIF are to advance New Zealand's disarmament interests and to contribute to our profile regarding international disarmament issues.

Recently PADET funded a pilot Secondary Schools Peace Competition in the Waikato designed to get students thinking about conflict resolution and to express that by way of speech, poetry, music, dance or video.    The competition was run in two divisions ... junior (years 9-11) and senior (years 12-13). We offered substantial prizes split between the pupils and their schools.   The pilot was an outstanding success.   It was embraced by the schools community and the quality of the winning entries was simply superb.   We hope to expand the competition, region by region, over the next few years.

I intend, on an occasional basis, to publish some of the winning entries.    Below is the winning poem in the junior division.   The author was Olivia M from Morrinsville College.

Weapons and Wars
Never solved differences or disagreements
And they never will

Patience is the key
Stop, Listen and take a deep breath
Calm down and rethink your words

You are unique and different
You never have to agree
With anyone

And Nobody ever has
To agree
With you

Your opinion is yours
It will never be right nor wrong
Everyone has the right to have different views or solutions

Think and Talk
There will always be multiple ways

Violence is not necessay
Its not the way
To achieving a positive outcome

Use your words
Communicate your thoughts
And remember

Weapons and Wars
Never solved disagreements or differences
And they never will


Sage advice from a young New Zealander.


homepaddock said...

Thank you for posting this poem - it is a winner.

paul scott said...

I would be reluctant to take advice on military matters from a child.
Children's poems on arms are for TV zombies.

David said...

Paul Scott, you seem to know far more than is necessary about children.

Children are best placed to weigh in on matters of war as they are the ones who suffer the most.

The Veteran said...

Paul ... we were not seeking their advice on things military ... that is the purview of the military. Rather we were seeking their thoughts on conflict resolution.

Winston Churchill once said that jaw jaw is better than war war. You disagree?