Disarmament exhibition opens

Grant Gillett (at right), of the University of Otago Bioethics Centre,  criticises some attitudes underlying the use of nuclear weapons, at an exhibition opening yesterday, while  Kevin Clements  looks on. Photo by Craig Baxter.
Grant Gillett (at right), of the University of Otago Bioethics Centre, criticises some attitudes underlying the use of nuclear weapons, at an exhibition opening yesterday, while Kevin Clements looks on. Photo by Craig Baxter.

On the eve of Hiroshima Day, Prof Kevin Clements, of the University of Otago, is urging New Zealand not to ''rest on its antinuclear laurels''.

Prof Clements, the director of the university's National Centre for Peace and Disarmament Studies, spoke yesterday at the opening of an international exhibition on nuclear disarmament.

Other speakers were Ted Nye, Dunedin representative of International Physicians Against Nuclear War (IPPNW), Jimi Wallace, general director of SGI New Zealand, a Buddhist non-government agency which promotes peace education, and Grant Gillett, of the Otago University Bioethics Centre.

The exhibition opening was part of the 68th Hiroshima Day commemorations, reflecting on the nuclear bombing of the Japanese city of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, near the end of World War 2.

Prof Clements thanked everyone who had worked together to make the Dunedin exhibition a reality, including SGI and the IPPNW.

Research showed that young people throughout the world were generally less aware than their parents of the dangers posed by nuclear weapons, he added in an interview.

The exhibition sought to raise awareness of the ''continuing threats from nuclear weapons'' and the need for their abolition.

He urged ''as many people as possible'' to see the exhibition, titled ''Everything You Treasure: For a World Free from Nuclear Weapons'', which is being hosted by the peace and disarmament studies centre until this Friday at the Otago University Library Link.

Jointly created by SGI and the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, the exhibition was launched at the 20th World Congress of the IPPNW in Hiroshima last year.

The exhibition comprises 40 panels, including photographs, and covers nuclear weapon issues from many perspectives.

The Otago centre is also organising, with other community groups, a peace vigil at the Peace Pole at the Otago Museum Reserve at 11am today, and a 5.15pm public debate on nuclear-free issues at the university's Archway 3 lecture theatre.

john.gibb@odt.co.nz

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