PACDAC (Public Advisory Committee on Disarmament and Arms Control)

PACDAC is a committee of experts that advises the Government on disarmament and arms control. It was established by the 1987 New Zealand Nuclear Free Zone, Disarmament and Arms Control Act.

PACDAC's main responsibilities are to:

  • advise the Minister of Foreign Affairs on disarmament and arms control issues
  • advise the Prime Minister on the implementation of the Act
  • publish public reports about disarmament and arms control
  • make recommendations for granting money to projects that promote public understanding of disarmament and arms control.

The chair of PACDAC is Hon Phil Twyford, Minister for Disarmament and Arms Control. Eight other members are appointed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs for a term of three years. The current members for the 2022-2024 term are:

  • Edwina Hughes
  • Mary Wareham
  • Andrew Chen
  • Kevin Clements
  • Martin Donoghue
  • Jamila Homayun
  • Dylan Maynard
  • Lucy Stewart

PACDAC meets in Wellington four to five times a year. MFAT provides the secretariat for PACDAC (email: pacdac@mfat.govt.nz).

Summary

The appointed members of PACDAC encourage New Zealand to:

  • Develop independent foreign policy that takes a principled approach to disarmament and embodies positive values;
  • Prioritize the higher standard where that exists, such as the 2017 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons;
  • Deliver on major substantive goals, such as the adoption of a new international treaty to prohibit and limit autonomous weapons aka killer robots; and
  • Demonstrate the humanitarian rationale for essential disarmament norms to show the positive impact for communities impacted by conflict and its aftermath.

PACDAC encourages applications for funding for projects and research that:

  • Increase public interest in these and other disarmament and arms control issues, including through disarmament education; and/or
  • Raise unaddressed disarmament issues of concern and highlights challenges that New Zealand could prioritize.

PACDAC’s appointed members seek to help identify policy solutions on emerging concerns, such as the militarization of space, as well as monitor action on existing issues. PACDAC works to promote and ensure good governance of the Disarmament Education United Nations Implementation Fund (DEUNIF) and the Peace and Disarmament Education Trust (PADET).

PACDAC's grant work

PACDAC is responsible for making recommendations on the allocation of grants from the Government’s Peace and Disarmament Education Trust (PADET) and the Disarmament Education United Nations Implementation Fund (DEUNIF). These funds are administered by the Department of Internal Affairs.

Set up in 1988, the objective of PADET is to promote international peace, arms control and disarmament through education. The trust makes one-off grants for projects, and provides scholarships for postgraduate research.

DEUNIF was set up in 2004 by the Government to provide funds to non-government organisations to implement disarmament education programmes.

To find out more about these funds please refer to:

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