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- Migrants Doubly Victimised By Government Response To Peters’ Election Campaigning.
- Would The Real Minister Of Immigration Please Stand Up.
On 5 May Keith Locke backed migrant communities’ concerns that the immigration checks prompted by Winston Peters’ latest grandstanding are too intrusive.
“Unfortunately the dragnet is being pulled across those migrants who have already suffered the most trauma in their home countries,” said Keith.
“Migrants from the so-called ‘high-risk’ countries are the very people who are most likely to have experienced severe repression and war. They came here for a peaceful life in a tolerant society and are now worried that the details of their past lives are to be trawled through by authorities, the very type of repression they tried to escape.”
Immigration Minister Paul Swain told Parliament that his officials would be rechecking some 385,500 approvals, covering the nationals of 46 countries.
“The Green Party is not against proper systematic checking of immigration applications, particularly for those seeking residence here. But what we are seeing at the moment is a sudden and arbitrary crackdown prompted by a moral panic, and such situations rarely give rise to fair and effective process.
”Winston’s immigration antics would make Saddam proud,” said Keith Locke on 4 May. ”The Government has effectively surrendered New Zealand’s immigration policy to the xenophobic clutches of Winston Peters.”
“Who is the Minister of Immigration, Swain or Peters?” asked Keith, the Green Party’s Human Rights Spokesperson.
“It is simply not acceptable for an Immigration Minister to force the cancellation of the visitor’s visa of someone applying for residence under the family reunification programme. It is very dangerous for immigration processes to be politicised in this way and undermines the rights of intending residents to due process.
“We now find that even the new Iraqi government has given the former diplomat, Omar Mohammed Al-Omar, a clearance. We all know that many officials in the new Iraqi government also served under Saddam Hussein. Such civil servants, including diplomats, are not necessarily considered to be criminals, or direct participants in the barbaric acts of Saddam’s regime.
“Mr Al-Omar, who naturally enough is seeking to be reunified with his New Zealand citizen son, may or may not be an appropriate person to be given residency. But he should at least be given the courtesy of his application being properly assessed without Ministerial pressure,” said Keith.
- Support Nuclear Non-Proliferation.
- Human Rights Film Festival.
The 5-yearly Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Conference is currently taking place at the United Nations HQ in New York. (For a summary of the aims of the Treaty and comment on the conference to date see Analysis, below.) An international call has gone out to ”Urge Your Government to Support Strong Language to Stick to Previous NPT Agreements”, as follows:
”NPT Action Alert- Support Strong Language on Previous Agreements
On Friday [May 6], word was given that Egypt is resisting the adoption of the conference note which will be read by Conference President Duarte accompanying the agenda for the NPT Review Conference. Egypt is calling for a stronger reference to past agreements, specifically the 1995 Review and Extension Conference Principles and Objectives, and the 2000 Review Conference Final Document.
While language is not being asked in regards to reaffirming or recommitting to the Practical Steps towards disarmament as agreed in 2000, at this time, by allowing weak language to be used in this little note, the tone will be set for a weak final document or outcome.
NGOs at the Review Conference are especially concerned about the possibility of a weak outcome to this Review – something that would renege on the agreements made in the past, or would not even acknowledge their existence. We would much prefer to see a final outcome that reaffirms the 2000 and 1995 agreements and recognizes them as binding. For more information on this see the Lawyer’s Committee on Nuclear Policy paper- ”
The Thirteen Practical Steps: Legal or Political?
What You Can Do:
Contact the Foreign Affairs Minister [Phil Goff] and Disarmament Minister [Marian Hobbs] and ask that New Zealand supports language reaffirming the binding commitment made at previous NPT Review Conferences – specifically 1995 and 2000, in all of the deliberations at the Review Conference.
Contact other organizations in your area and tell them what is going on in NYC and how they can also support previous agreements to achieve nuclear disarmament.
We are concerned by the lack of progress at the NPT Review Conference, currently taking place in New York. At the conclusion of the first week of debate, an agenda had not yet been reached. We have noted that some States are calling for stronger references to previously binding agreements and we support those efforts. We urge you to instruct the New Zealand representatives at the meeting to support all efforts to achieve nuclear disarmament, and to support the reaffirmation of the 2000 and 1995 agreed outcomes.
It is our understanding that the government of Egypt is currently working to support a stronger reference, and we want New Zealand to join them in this request.”
New Zealand’s first Human Rights Film Festival is taking place this month –
Regent on Worcester
(03) 366 0140
May 25-June 1
(04) 384 4080
Synopses of just two of the excellent feature films in the festival, ‘The Fourth World War’ and ‘Bread and Roses’ are given under Analysis, below.
- Pointseven Campaign Petition
- Stopping The Spread Of Nuclear Weapons
- The Fourth World War
- Bread And Roses
. On May 12 the PointSeven Campaign delivered their petition to the Government. The petition requests that: “…the Government honours its promise to increase its contribution towards the struggle against global poverty by committing to a timetable for achieving the United Nations target of giving 0.7% of Gross National Income in overseas aid by 2015.” Below is Keith Locke’s speech at the handing over of the petition. More information can be found at
Council for International Development
The Green Party is 100% behind this petition.
It is simply not good enough that our Overseas Development Assistance is still down at 0.24% of GNI.
There is no excuse for the Labour government sitting on its hands on this issue for all five and a bit years it has been in power.
Government Ministers have gone along to all these international meetings, and agreed with the requirement to have a timetable to achieve 0.7% of GNI by 2015, and then they’ve come home and betrayed that commitment by doing absolutely nothing to establish such a timetable.
Over the past fortnight Labour has shown that increasing overseas aid is the very last thing on its list of priorities.
The government announced it had an extra $460 million per year to put into Defence spending for ten years. There was no need for this, particularly when $538 million a year of present defence spending goes on the frigates, which are configured for overseas combat with an American-led task force, not for our defence needs in the South Pacific.
And we all know that George Bush’s military adventures are development problems, not development solutions. Just look at the death, devastation and social dislocation in Iraq.
Overseas aid, to help overcome injustice and inequalities, is the road to peace and development. That’s where we should be putting our extra money, not into the machinery of war. In New Zealand, as in the US, so much more of the budget is spent on the infrastructure of killing instead of the infrastructure of development. Worldwide, almost $US1000 billion is wasted on arms each year.
The $460 million put into overseas aid, if it had instead been spent on defence, would have increased New Zealand’s aid level to 0.66% of GNI, near the international target. And wouldn’t it have been fantastic to get to 0.66% by 2006, not 2015.
Now of course, the Greens support the extra aid given by New Zealand for tsunami relief, and we will be the first to cheer the aid level goes up in next week’s budget.
But if it does don’t just say how wonderful Labour is and you are going to love them for ever. The increase will be a result of your pressure, and this petition, and to some degree the pressure in the House by the Green Party. And, if you are serious about New Zealand increasing its aid to 0.7% I hope you will remember that on election day. The Green Party pledges that if, after the election, we are having negotiations with Labour for a coalition agreement, or a support agreement, having a timetable to reach an aid level of 0.7% of GNI by 2015 will be high on our list of negotiating points.
– a beginners guide to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty [NPT]. The Federation of American Scientists give
of the NPT, and more information on the Treaty is available on their site.
The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, also referred to as the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), obligates the five acknowledged nuclear-weapon states (the United States, Russian Federation, United Kingdom, France, and China) not to transfer nuclear weapons, other nuclear explosive devices, or their technology to any non-nuclear-weapon state. Non-nuclear-weapon States Parties undertake not to acquire or produce nuclear weapons or nuclear explosive devices. They are required also to accept safeguards to detect diversions of nuclear materials from peaceful activities, such as power generation, to the production of nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices. This must be done in accordance with an individual safeguards agreement, concluded between each non-nuclear-weapon State Party and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Under these agreements, all nuclear materials in peaceful civil facilities under the jurisdiction of the state must be declared to the IAEA, whose inspectors have routine access to the facilities for periodic monitoring and inspections. If information from routine inspections is not sufficient to fulfil its responsibilities, the IAEA may consult with the state regarding special inspections within or outside declared facilities.
The Treaty was opened for signature on 1 July 1968, and signed on that date by the United States, the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, and 59 other countries. The Treaty entered into force with the deposit of US ratification on 5 March 1970. China acceded to the NPT on 9 March 1992, and France acceded on 3 August 1992. In 1996, Belarus joined Ukraine and Kazakhstan in removing and transferring to the Russian Federation the last of the remaining former Soviet nuclear weapons located within their territories, and each of these nations has become a State Party to the NPT, as a non-nuclear-weapon state. In June 1997 Brazil became a State Party to the NPT.
The NPT is the most widely accepted arms control agreement. As of early 2000 a total of 187 states were Parties to the NPT. Cuba, Israel, India, and Pakistan were the only states that were not members of the NPT.
In accordance with the terms of the NPT, on May 11, 1995 more than 170 countries attended the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference (NPTREC) in New York. Three decisions and one resolution emanated from NPTREC. First, the NPT was extended for an indefinite duration and without conditions. Second, Principles and Objectives for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament were worked out to guide the parties to the treaty in the next phase of its implementation. Third, an enhanced review process was established for future review conferences. Finally, a resolution endorsed the establishment of a zone free of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East.
There is no confirmed instance of State Party governmental transfers of nuclear weapon technology or unsafeguarded nuclear materials to any non-nuclear-weapon state. However, some non-nuclear-weapon states, such as Iraq, were able to obtain sensitive technology and/or equipment from private parties in states that are States Parties to the NPT. South Africa conducted an independent nuclear weapons production program prior to joining the NPT. However, it dismantled all of its nuclear weapons before signing the Treaty. In 1994, the United States and North Korea signed an “Agreed Framework” bringing North Korea into full compliance with its non-proliferation obligations under the NPT. North Korea affirmed its NPT member status and committed to allow implementation of its IAEA safeguards agreement.”
(directors Richard Rowley and Jacqueline Soohen) ”…takes viewers where the mainstream media cannot go. Shot on the frontlines of struggles spanning five continents, The Fourth World War is the untold human story of men and women who resist being annihilated in the current global conflict. While American airwaves are crowded with talk of a new world war, narrated by generals and filmed from the noses of bombs, the human face of war is rarely seen. The Fourth World War weaves together the images and voices of the war on the ground, from the front lines of struggles in Mexico, Argentina, South Africa, Palestine, Korea, ‘the North’ from Seattle to Genoa, and the ‘War on Terror’ in New York and Iraq. The product of over two years of filming, The Fourth World War is a new kind of film for a new world. The intensity and immediacy of its images are beyond anything the mainstream media can shoot and the intimacy and passion of its stories are beyond anything it can feel.
The immediacy and intensity of the footage from The Fourth World War does not come without its risks, however. Over the course of production Rowley and Soohen have been clubbed and pepper-sprayed and their cameras were smashed in Genoa, Washington D.C., Geneva, and Quebec. They have been arrested in Italy, Baghdad, Israel, Geneva and South Africa (where Soohen was quickly un-arrested by activists). Perhaps the most dramatic story from the film’s production came in May 2002, when Jacqueline Soohen was one of a group of ten activists who broke the 180-day Israeli siege on the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, racing past the tanks and sniper towers with food and a video camera. She was the only camera inside the church and filmed dozens of hours of video while snipers pinned them down, using 50 caliber rounds and infrared scopes to shoot through doors. After two weeks inside the church, living off of lemon leaves and lamp oil, she was arrested by Israeli soldiers and imprisoned on a hunger strike for 14 more days. Her footage was seized by the Israeli Army who sold parts of it to an Israeli producer working for the BBC…”
(director Ken Loach).”Maya, a young Mexican, crosses the border to join her tough elder sister Rosa who works as a cleaner in a down town block, home to some of LA’s most powerful corporate clients.
The two sisters have a deep but fiery relationship which is further stretched by Sam, a talented and anarchistic American activist, who is part of a dynamic campaign opposed to older methods of trade union organising. They have a simple motto, ‘No Justice, No Peace’ and embark on a peaceful but highly imaginative guerrilla campaign for trade union recognition against cleaning companies and powerful corporate owners of the tower blocks.
Ken Loach’s first US-set film exposes a side of Los Angeles that to date has been swept under the corporate carpet.
Written by Paul Laverty, Bread And Roses is set around the early 1990s Justice for Janitors strike which saw an army of exploited cleaners – the invisible Latino immigrants – take to the streets to protest for basic workers’ rights. The film stars Pilar Padilla and Elpidia Carrillo as the two sisters involved in the struggle and Adrien Brody as a union activist who leads the campaign against their employers.
For Loach, the appeal was that “the film was set in another world that existed side by side with the movie world. It’s about organising immigrant workers, (who are) very vulnerable and easily exploited. Having worked on a film in Nicaragua (Carla’s Song), this seemed another element in the same wider story, the relationship between the US and countries that are essentially its colonies, economically and culturally.”
JustPeace was produced by Christine Dann, Tim Hannah and Keith Locke, MP
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