Govt will not buy UN Council seat – representative
Sat, 01 Sep 2012 6:05p.m.
By Jane Luscombe
The Government is fighting for a seat at what it calls the high table of international affairs: the United Nations Security Council.
Australia has spent millions doing the same, but New Zealand is relying instead on its reputation.
Influence and alliance were on US president Barack Obama's mind when he visited troops at Fort Bliss in Texas today.
“If you hear anyone trying to say that America is in decline or that our influence has waned, don't you believe it,” says Mr Obama. “Because here is the truth – our alliances have never been stronger.”
His country's alliance with New Zealand in Afghanistan today earned gratitude from Hillary Clinton.
“Despite the challenges we've all had, including the losses that we've suffered at the hands of insurgents and turncoats, we are all resolved to see this mission through,” says Ms Clinton.
Now it's New Zealand's turn to seek greater influence. The Government is campaigning to win a seat on the UN Security Council in 2015.
Australia has spent $25 million lobbying for a seat next year.
Jim McLay, permanent representative to the UN, told TV3's The Nation that's not our style.
“We won't buy a seat,” says Mr McLay. “We won't use foreign aid to say to countries ‘if we give you this, will you give us a vote?’ The second thing we have said is we will not change our policy in order to attract support.”
New Zealand has only been on the council three times since it was set up in 1945. The most recent time was in 1993, when we were one of only two countries calling for intervention in Rwanda's genocide.
“We have got a lot of people who we worked with at that time who want us back on the Council because they know how we functioned when we were there last time,” says Mr McLay.
The Council is made up of five permanent members and 10 others, elected for two-years.
New Zealand is competing against Turkey and Spain for two seats. The strengthening alliance with the US could prove our undoing, with some countries questioning our bias.
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3/09/2012 9:31:59 a.m.
"The strengthening alliance with the U.S" has cost us many millions already. To control and dictate world affairs costs a lot of money! But why pay - why be on the council at all? What does NZ gain from all this cost and war involvement? With todays crumbling Europe and faultering U.S and massive debt, homeless, jobless in their own country what has any of this acheived?? Why not scrap the UN? It is just a way to legalise war and diplomatic corruption in other countries!
2/09/2012 11:16:47 a.m.
"The strengthening alliance with the US could prove our undoing, with some countries questioning our bias."
That's right. This Government might not *buy* a seat on the UN Security Council, but they'd certainly sell it.
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