PEACEMAKER AWARD

Rob Green and Kate Dewes honoured with Peacemaker Award 2014 

By Toby Foster
September 2014
 
The purpose of The Peace Foundation’s Peacemaker Award is to honour and acknowledge individuals dedicated in the contribution to the supreme goal of peace. It is therefore apt that on 8 September 2014, The Peace Foundation awarded it to both former Royal Navy Commander Robert Green and his wife Dr Kate Dewes, as there are no two people more deserving.
 

 

Both were awarded for their supreme dedication and outstanding contribution to peace, abolition of nuclear weapons and disarmament in New Zealand and internationally.  Testimonials on their outstanding work were offered by Richard Northey, Lyndon Burford, George Armstrong and John Hinchcliff. 
 
Robert Green served in the Royal Navy in 1962 to 1982 with the role of flying in nuclear armed aircraft as a navigator, with pre-designated targets already selected in the USSR in case hostilities escalated. It is testament to the strength of the peace message that such a transfer of alignment took place - once a nuclear-weapon trained war bringer, now a staunch anti-nuclear campaigner. It is his years in the Navy, combined with the respect given to his rank and profession, that make him the perfect candidate for anti-nuclear activism. Truly, there is no one else better informed in the area of the danger of nuclear weapons as Robert Green, with an ideal conglomeration of military experience and moral fortitude.
 
It is fitting that Robert should meet and fall in love with a woman such as Dr Kate Dewes, one of the few people compassionate enough to share his impetus regarding peace and nuclear issues. Leading an upstanding life, Kate worked with the UN Secretary General’s Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters, was a pioneer of the World Court Project, and part of the international campaign legally challenging nuclear deterrence in the International Court of Justice. She is a New Zealand government expert on the United Nations Study on Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Education, and has often taught Peace Studies at various times over the years at the University of Canterbury.
 
Robert Green and Kate Dewes co-authored ‘Aotearoa/New Zealand at the World Court’ and together they have written several articles. Rob Green has authored several books in the area of nuclear disarmament, positively influencing many in the debate of nuclear deterrence and the protection of human rights. Truly, a more formidable and remarkable union in the area of peace making cannot be found.
Professor Kevin Clements honoured with the Peacemaker Award

Professor Kevin Clements, Director of the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Otago, was honoured with the Peacemaker Award at The Peace Foundation Annual General Meeting in Auckland recently.


The award for Professor Clements appreciated his outstanding contribution to peace education and peace development in New Zealand and globally. Later he also delivered a keynote speech on ‘Challenging dominance, building peace’, in which he identified the costs of violence and the cultures of dominance within our societies.
 
Professor Clements noted that the economic impact of violence in 2013 was estimated to be US$9.8 trillion or 11.3% of world GDP, a 3.8% rise on the 2012 figure. But in addition to the material costs of violence, he stated, “We need to be mindful of the political economy of emotions, particularly those caused by preventable suffering, violence and death. These are never captured in cost benefit analysis. These costly emotions persist through time and subvert peaceful and just processes”.
 
Professor Clements observed that the fall in global peacefulness is largely driven by changes in what he described as “internal peacefulness”. And while New Zealand is well within the world’s top ten most peaceful countries, it’s ranking has slipped over the past 12 months.
 
Identifying the domestic drivers of what he termed the “external pathology” of violence, he argued that it begins with the hierarchical social and political identities within our own families, communities and nation. In these dominatory cultures there are “clear top dogs and underdogs; included and excluded”, and an acceptance of the inequality and violence that maintains these hierarchies.
 
“We have to oppose domination wherever we see it at all levels”, stated Clements. “These are not optional extras but are critical to a more just and peaceful world.”
 
In addition to hearing reports from The Peace Foundation officials, the AGM also saw the election unopposed of all nominees to the Foundation’s council. President Dr John Hinchcliff CNZM was returned for another term.

The Peace Foundation wishes to thank Professor Kevin Clements for his excellent work in the field of peace development - it is inspiring to have such a decorated academic endeavour to not just work to solve existing problems, but to analyse why they occurred in the first place.