Russell Burrell, a Youth Fusion associate, recently sat down with Minister Phil Twyford, from New Zealand, and Alyn Ware of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament. Minister Twyford is currently New Zealand’s Minister for Disarmament and Arms Control and State Minister for Trade and Export, and Alyn is PNND’s Global Coordinator.
Minister Twyford has been in the peace and disarmament movement for over 30 years, beginning in the 1980s, protesting in the streets and in the harbors of New Zealand to keep nuclear-powered military watercraft from entering into force. From there, he moved on and became the Executive Director for Oxfam in New Zealand, then later Oxfam’s Global Advocacy Director in Washington, D.C. He was elected as an MP for the Labour Party in 2008, and now serves in several ministry positions, such as those mentioned above and more.
Mr. Ware is a peace educator and activist who helped establish peace studies in New Zealand schools and to move the government to ban nuclear weapons in the 1980s. Since then, he has worked on international campaigns to reduce risks of nuclear war, ban nuclear weapons and build common security alternatives to the threat or use of force in international relations. This includes being a leader of the historic International Court of Justice case that affirmed the general illegality of nuclear weapons, and co-founding a number of organizations/initiatives including Abolition 2000, Move the Nuclear Weapons Money, NoFirstUse Global, PNND and UNFOLD ZERO.
In our chat with Minister Twyford and Alyn, we covered topics from their backgrounds to current state of international affairs and the disarmament movement. The most intriguing part of our chat, however, was the portion on Outer Space. In the context of today’s global challenges, we discussed the difficulties and challenges outlined in the disarmament handbook, Assuring Our Common Future, and more, but the bulk of our discussion rested on New Zealand’s own policies related to outer space; New Zealand has two primary policies, which Minister Twyford helped push forward: the 2017 Outer Space and High-altitude Activities Act and the 2019 Space Launch Guidelines, both of which aim to be in line with the 1967 Outer Space Treaty.
This podcast has been in support of the upcoming webinar “Ensuring that outer space remains a common good”, which takes place on September 29th, 2022. There will be two sessions: one at 7am CET for participants from the Indo-Pacific and Middle-East Regions, and one at 1pm CET for participants from Europe, Africa, and the Americas. This webinar is in support of the disarmament handbook “Assuring Our Common Future”, which can be found at disarmamenthandbook.org.