Wellington should not host weapons conference

Sanji Gunasekara

Hellfire-II-Missile

Between November 17 and 18, Wellington will host 200 of the world’s largest weapons manufacturers at the Defence Industry Association Annual Forum. Despite the PR spin, this 2 day event, more appropriately called a weapons conference, promises to be a bonanza for companies who are in the business of selling products that are designed to kill, maim and destroy.

As one of several New Zealand cities that are members of the ‘Mayors for Peace’ global initiative, Wellington should not be hosting this event – particularly when this year’s principal sponsor is Lockheed Martin. This US-based company is a major manufacturer of nuclear weapons and delivery systems for the US and the UK. It is nothing short of a travesty that Lockheed Martin is being given the red carpet welcome in a city that has prided itself on its nuclear free status for over three decades. And it was…

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